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Posts Tagged ‘metamorphosis’

Tenebrio molitor, pupa

Tenebrio molitor is a darkling beetle known more for its immature stages than for its adults. It is the ubiquitous mealworm. You can buy these granivorous beetles at any pet store as food for fish, birds, and reptiles.

The above shot of a developing pupa requires two sources of light. A flash head positioned behind the insect backlights the subject to produce the translucent glow. A second, positioned above and in front, is powered down and provides the highlights and details of the head and appendages.

Tenebrio molitor larva and pupa

Stronger backlighting gives this shot more glow

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f13, 1/40-1/250  sec

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Here’s an image for the textbooks:

gracilis2Ants, like butterflies, pass through egg, larva, and pupa phases on their way to adulthood. While in Florida earlier in this summer I found a nest of the twig ant Pseudomyrmex gracilis with brood present in all stages, providing the material to make these images.

The key was placing the developing ants on a glass slide.  This provided distance between them and the cardboard background, so that the backdrop is blurred while the insects remain in sharp focus.  These images are not what I’d call fine art, but I’m happy with them as solid illustrations of ant biology.

gracilis3

photo details (both photos): Canon mp-e 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/11, 1/160 sec, twin flash diffused through tracing paper

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flies1.jpg
Igor Siwanowicz, who shot this series of a fly breaking free of its puparium, is among the finest studio photographers of insects. He’s got a particularly sharp eye for lighting and his compositions are often playful. Go visit Igor’s portfolio.

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