ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

INSECTS. (06/08/13)

I didn’t go out with the intention of snapping insects but about a mile into our walk I came across dozens and dozens of Dragonflies. I had a 135mm lens on the camera and a teleconverter in my pocket.

I’m going to struggle with identification so any suggestions are welcome._V0G7396    This is a moth. It is a bit blurry as it was sitting there and trembling with a very high frequency shiver. I’ve never seen them do that before. I think it may be a Pine Hawk Moth but have my doubts.

_V0G7417    This is a Burying Beetle. It digs the ground from beneath corpses and inters them. An excellent idea. I think I’ll commandeer half a dozen when my time comes. It would save a fortune.

_V0G7414    I think these are all Darters. They were very gregarious and mixing quite happily with each other so they won’t be Common Darters. Red Veined Darter?

_V0G7409     I’ll guess that this is a Black Darter female? as again it was quite happy in the company of other Dragonflies.

_V0G7407  This has a longer tail than the others but again there were lots of them.

I have never seen so many in one place. I’ll get out in the morning with the macro gear and try and find them before they start flitting and darting about. I ought to get a copy of a big Dragonfly book. I’ve got the one you recommended written down Trevor. I couldn’t get their wings to show but most carried the black oblong on the leading edge.

They will all enlarge with a click as they are just cropped square.

39 comments:

  1. Afraid I can't help with the dragonflies but the moth is a Silver Y, and I've seen them doing that shivery thing before -- we used to get lots doing this on a lavender bush around dusk at a house we used to rent.

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    1. Thanks Mark, It doesn't look like the one in my little Collins book. I sometimes wonder whether the Collins folk know what they are printing.

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  2. Damn it! I have always hated insects and you are going to get me interested in them.

    Actually I guess hate is too strong a word. I could always kinda appreciate their structure. Once I found a big dead bug on my deck and it was in perfect condition. I took it to work and set it on the shelf above my desk. When my Boss saw it, she said, "would you please get that filthy thing out of here." I think that is hate.

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    1. David, they are wonderfully intricate. I'll have another go tomorrow.

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  3. magnificent images, Adrian! Having taught in elementary, the kids' fascination with bugs rubbed off on me. Some insects are quite beautiful.

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    1. Norma, they are I'll hope for a fine day tomorrow and have another go

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  4. Margaret Adamson has left a new comment on your post "INSECTS. (06/08/13)":

    Hi Adrian Great collection of Dragonflies adn the Moth. Isn't it great how other bloggers help when needed.

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    1. Margaret, It is both great, appreciated and necessary in my case.

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  5. Awesome Adrian! So the 135mm with the TC works best for you? Or the 100mm? I have bad news. My 60mm Macro fell and broke. Had to send it to Canon since it's my favourite, and an estimate of $131 USD was sent. I sent it in since it's a handy all around lens. Both the AF and MF didn't work. But I still have the 100mm to use.

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  6. Meanwhile the 25mm extension tube works great with the 70-200mm, I can stand at 3 feet and still get good magnification.

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  7. But remember my camera is a crop factor body and I don't know how it would work in your case.

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    1. Maria, it was all I had with me. The 100mm is better it has IS for a start. I'm sorry to hear of your disaster.
      I used a borrowed extension tube a 13mm one with the 400mm lens and it did a good job. I'll take the 100mm and the MP-E65mm tomorrow. I'll see if I can get some close ups first thing while their wings are still wet.

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  8. I'll go with a Silver Y moth Adrian, although in all my books they have their wings set differently at rest. Confusing. I have seen them quivering the way you describe quite often.

    Dragons; aha. Not exactly sure where you are on the map, but some species can be ruled out by area. Trevor will be better at these than me.
    The first looks good for a Common Darter, but not sure if they venture that far north. That would leave a possible male Highland Darter, or Red-veined Darter. I'll stick my neck out, and go with the Highland, they're almost identical to the Common, except for their naughty bits.
    Next one could be the female; need more pictures to be positive.
    The last one; I'll let Trev have a go, I've got a headache now :-)
    Great shots though.

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  9. Keith, Moth is a Silver Y. I thought that Common Darters were very jealous of territory. These were all happy together. I'll go again tomorrow weather permitting. I'll try and get some close ups before they get on the move.

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    1. Keith, I wish I'd ignored the little devils. I Have found several pictures of Highland Darters and suspect that the last one is one. It's forecasting rain for tomorrow but the following day looks promising. I'm not sure Common darters get this far north. I'm at about 58N.

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  10. Nou Adriaan ze waren je wel heel goedgezind en werkten fantastisch mee.

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    1. Ik hoop dat ze nog in een goede stemming morgen.

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  11. A great selection here Adrian.

    The moth, a Silver Y, is a migrant that arrives from the south in summer. As moths fly at night they need to vibrate their wings to warm up their flight muscles, unlike butterflies that use the warmth of the sun. (okay! I know!..the Silver Y flies both by day and night... there's always one that has to be different!) Moths are also hairier than butterflies for the same heat conserving reason!

    I think all the dragons are Common Darters (sympetrum striolatum) you're in a good area for them there. The first one a female(?)....the other two I reckon (after much research!!) are of the darker form that used to be known as a separate species called the Highland Darter (s. nigrescens) but now classed as a sub species. The first an immature male and the other a female!

    Good luck for tomorrows images Adrian, I'm looking forward to seeing them!...[;o)

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  12. Thanks Trevor, I am praying for a half decent day. I'll take a coffee with me and head back with a proper lens for the job. I have a set of extension tubes on order for Bertha which I'm not expecting before Friday. They'll be handy. Dorr ones not the mega buck Canon ones. I expect Bertha to vignette with them but I'll have to live with that. I can always Photoshop the edges.
    I was very nearly breathing the things...I've never seen so many. I'll have a hunt round for the little case they crawl out of. I'll then have to go on the internet to find out what it's called because I've forgotten.

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  13. Great images Adrian, sadly as you know I'm not going to be much help. Look forward to tommorows lot, I have to agree some of the websites out there that describe/id butterflies etc aren't brilliant, I tried dragging some of my images into the google search bar and it came back buddleia, thanks google!

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    1. Douglas, it is a problem with the websites. They don't show enough different aspects and Darters in particular are all very similar.
      It's pouring here but it should clear later I hope.

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  14. They are Common Darter, male and female, but they do look very good. I am dying to see 400mm with extension tubes.

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    1. Bob, I only ever find 'Common'. I should have stuck with that ID. I did borrow an extension tube earlier in the year and apart from a bit of vignetting they work well. I was horrified at Canon prices and not convinced that Kenko would work, I've settled for Dorr.

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  15. We like to see dragonflies here as they feed on mosquitoes. You have an insect that bothers you when you're outside. I hope the dragonflies feed on them. The different species seem to feed on different stuff.

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    1. Red, I don't think that these would manage a Cleg but there were few Midges yesterday so perhaps they had eaten them all.

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  16. Beautiful bugs, Adrian. I'm not a big insect fan, but I make exceptions for dragonflies and butterflies.

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    1. JoLynne, they are fascinating if you can magnify them enough. the problem id DOF and most don't sit around to allow for focus stacking.

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  17. I quite like dragonflies so I'm glad there are people like you around you can get such good shots of them. The last one is lovely when enlarged.

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    1. Pauline, If this rain stops I'll go out and try again for some better shots. They are like little jewels.

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  18. Well-observed sir. Any chance of a few snaps of those pesky midges? Not sure what camera gear that would involve!

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    1. YP, you echo my thoughts. I'll catch one and send it away for a snap. I know a bloke with a microscope.

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    2. Looking at my arms after several days outside with the little buggers I should have been able to capture a few with some ether but I hardly saw them - I just see the results (fortunately they don't itch) Perhaps some vas aline would be an idea and then I can get them under the microscope, I did get a froghopper underneath but the little blighter climbed up into the space between the ring of LEDs and the lens.

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    3. Graham, with the odd exception there have been few midgey days this year. They have made up for it this last week though.
      I do have one of those net things to put over my head but It makes me look a bigger berk than usual. I also have trouble lighting a Marlboro with it on.
      I suspect that double sided sellotape would do the job. I was trying to get a shot of the froghopper. They can jump. they must be able to hop about a hundred times their own height.

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    4. Froghoppers also give you quite a surprise at how hard they are if they fly or jump into you. I did get quite a few shots of a dead one under the microscope and this morning I've been trying to photo a midge under the scope. There were a lot of dead ones in the house this morning. At less than 2mm long though it's been a challenge. I will perfect it eventually.

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    5. Good luck....I'd like to see the results.

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