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Wildlife Photography Tips
Category Archives: Insects, Misc.
I had my Canon Powershot SX50 HS when these mating Robber Flies landed near me. I think the macro setting on this camera works great. I was also surprised that these insects allowed me to get close for this shot. I did make a video but I decided not to post insect video porn today.
Robber Fly Facts and Camera Settings
Robber flies exhibit minimal courtship behavior. Instead, the male pounces on the female much like an act of prey acquisition. Copulation is accomplished in a tail-to-tail fashion with the male and female genitalia interlocked. Flight is not completely inhibited during mating. (University of Florida)
When I first spotted this Bumblebee, it seemed to be having problems flying. It was covered in pollen but that’s not unusual for a Bee. It would move from flower to flower but it was getting more difficult each time. The Bee finally left the flowers and landed on a limb in a tree. It looked to me that it was trying to rub some of the pollen off with the tree limb. I did some research and I think it may have been grooming the pollen into the pollen basket.
Bumblebee Facts and Camera Settings
Pollen is removed from flowers deliberately or incidentally by bumblebees. Incidental removal occurs when bumblebees come in contact with the anthers of a flower while collecting nectar. The bumblebee’s body hairs receive a dusting of pollen from the anthers, which is then groomed into the corbicula (“pollen basket”). Bumblebees are also capable of buzz pollination.
Once they have collected nectar and pollen, bumblebees return to the nest and deposit the harvested nectar and pollen into brood cells, or into wax cells for storage. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees only store a few days’ worth of food and so are much more vulnerable to food shortages. (Wikipedia)
I was walking a dirt road when I spotted this Robber Fly with a Grasshopper. I was able to make several photos of it without it flying off.
Robber Fly Facts and Camera Setting
They are powerfully built, bristly flies with short, sharp, stout sucking mouthparts. The name “robber flies” reflects their notoriously aggressive predatory habits; they feed mainly on other insects and they largely wait in ambush and catch their prey in flight.
The fly attacks its prey by stabbing it with its short, strong proboscis injecting the victim with saliva containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes which very rapidly paralyze the victim and soon digest the insides; the fly then sucks the liquefied material through the proboscis. (Wikipedia)
August is my slow time for photographing larger wildlife so I usually start photographing insects and reptiles. Here in Arkansas and east Oklahoma, August is a great time for photographing Dragonflies. I spotted this one at the fishing pier on Reeves Slough at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. As you can see, it let me get close.
I want even try to guess what type of Dragonfly this is but if you know please let me know in a comment below.
Dragonfly Facts and Camera Settings
Dragonflies are important predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, wasps, and very rarely butterflies. They are usually found around marshes, lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands because their larvae, known as “nymphs”, are aquatic. Some 5680 different species of dragonflies (Odonata) are known in the world today.
Though dragonflies are predators, they themselves are subject to predation by birds, lizards, frogs, spiders, fish, water bugs, and even other large dragonflies. (Wikipedia)