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Posts Tagged ‘Flies’

Eastern Treehole Mosquito

Eastern Treehole Mosquito

My commercial gallery now has flies!

Diptera photographs at alexanderwild.com

I feel sort of embarassed at how few fly images I have, considering the importance of the group. That’s something I’ll try to remedy as we get into this summer’s photography season.

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Slurp

A long-tongued horse fly drinks from a flower in Arizona's Chiricahua mountains

A long-tongued horse fly takes a sip of nectar in Arizona's Chiricahua mountains.

100% crop of the same image.

100% crop of the same image.

photo details: Canon 65mm MP-E 1-5x  macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

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rhagoletis11
Rhagoletis fruit flies mating, Arizona

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 sec, backlit by handheld strobe.

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nosodendron1

Nosodendron californicum – Wounded Tree Beetle
California, USA

From the Department of Really Obscure Insects, here’s a beetle that few non-specialists will recognize.  Nosodendron inhabits the rotting tissue of long-festering tree wounds.  These beetles are not rare so much as specialized to an environment where few entomologists think to look.   If you can spot the telltale stains of an old wound on the trunks of large trees, you should be able to find Nosodendron.  They feed on the microbes- the yeast and bacteria- that grow in the sap leaking from the phloem.

There are, in fact, whole communities of insects associated with tree wounds.  Several fly families are found nowhere else.  I photographed this odiniid fly drinking from the yeasty slime:

odiniid2

photo details (both photos): Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60
ISO 100, f/13, 1/200 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

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Can’t devote much to blogging at the moment, but since we’re feeling sorry for the dipterists this week here’s a fly for you to look at:

A Gall Midge, Cecidomyiidae - California

Gall Midge, Cecidomyiidae - California

Maybe one of you fly folks could explain in the comments why Cecidomyiids are so cool.  Aside from looking like little fairies, that is.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon D60
ISO 100, f/13, 1/200 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

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Dipterist Keith Bayless exposes a pernicious case of media bias:

Six new families of Diptera were described from newly discovered species in the last 6 years! None of these flies received the press coverage given to Martialis. There are a variety of explanations for this, including that

1) The fly descriptions were published in lower profile journals than PNAS
2) Many of the the new fly families evolved more recently than the first ant in the Martialis lineage
3) The level of public and scientific interest in ants inclines them to be better covered or
4) People who study ants are better at public relations.

I think Keith misses an even larger issue. (more…)

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I can’t imagine a more unpleasant way to go. This poor oleander aphid (Aphis nerii) has its innards sucked out by a hoverfly larva.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D
f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100
MT-24EX flash diffused through tracing paper

levels adjusted in Photoshop.

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