Okay, I’m running dangerously low, so send in your photos. Today we’re featuring more insect photos from reader Mark Sturtevant, whose comments are indented:
This set of pictures marks an important milestone for me, since these are from my first outing last summer where I began to use my newly bought Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens. I had never even touched a macro lens before, and it took me a while to figure out how to use it. But it has made my hobby a fair bit easier, and now this amazing lens rarely leaves my camera.
First we have a female Eastern pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis). This is the same dragonfly I used in a Spot the dragonfly posting several months ago.
The next two pictures feature a small colony of aphids (Chaitophorus populicola) being guarded by a squad of anxious carpenter ants (likely Camponotus pennsylvanicus). As soon as they detected me, the ants began to run up and down the plant, flicking their abdomens. I suppose this was to spray out an alarm pheromone. It was rather entertaining to watch through my camera viewfinder, hitting the shutter the instant an ant would race by in its flashing chitin armor.
The next three pictures are of tiger moths that are found in the forest undergrowth. It turns out that this genus is rather complex, with several species of similar-looking moths, with many species being highly variable. I think what we have here is but one species, the Lecontes’ haploa moth (Haploa lecontei).
Next, I had a pretty cool find on my first day out with my new lens. I spotted a large bee-like robber fly (Laphria grossa) several feet away, and it was clearly feeding on something large. I carefully crept up, and was thrilled to see it had a honey bee [Apis mellifera].
In the last picture, you can see a rather special talent of these flies. They often swivel their heads up and down and from side to side, checking out their surroundings. In this picture it is as if the killer fly is saying “You’re next!”