Readers’ wildlife photos

Thanks to the many people who sent me photos for this feature; I hope we can keep it going. (I had to abandon the “photos of readers” features as we ran out of submissions.)

We have a new contributor today: Bruce Budris from New York State. His captions and IDs are indented

With all of the extra time spent at home this year, I decided to finally try my hand at photographing insects in our backyard garden as well as on our family walks through Columbia County’s (NY) numerous conservation areas (  Also, it gives my son a chance to earn a little extra allowance by helping me find new and interesting insects to photograph  🙂

The first photo is a Robber Fly or “gnat ogre” (Holcocephala fusca) with noms perched on a Tulsi flower.  Of the robber fly species I’ve photographed, this is probably the smallest at about 1 cm in length.

Next is a Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax), who was kind enough to model her iridescent chelicerae for me.  The behavior of jumping spiders is always entertaining.  Whenever there was a visitor to the flower she would climb up the outside and just peer over the top to see if the visitor was a candidate.  After a steady stream of large bumblebees however, she decided to move on.
Next is a tiny sweat bee with stunning metallic coloring covered in the pollen of a nine-bark flower (Augochlora pura).
A pair of Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetles (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata), too busy to notice my presence:
An adult Pale-Green Assassin Bug (Zelus luridus) on the prowl at night. Even by predatory insect standards, these guys are definitely badass.
A Ferruginous Tiger Crane Fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea) lying in wait on a Wine bush leaf:
Lastly, a head-shot of a surprisingly cooperative female Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis):


  1. Posted October 15, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    For anyone who wonders about the strange face plate on dragon flies, when you see them mate you will understand!
    Wonderful macro photos!

  2. Posted October 15, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Very good pictures! I very much admire your work.

  3. boudiccadylis
    Posted October 15, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The phidippus brought back wonderful memories. It was the first spider that didn’t terrify me. Of course, I was being formally educated about spiders at the time. Great pictures.

  4. Posted October 15, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Great metallic bee! I love those things. Many species, and both males and females are seen out on flowers and they can look like different species.

  5. rickflick
    Posted October 15, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink


  6. Posted October 15, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    You are an exciting addition to the contributors here. This is top-quality work, hope to see more of it.

  7. Ben Curtis
    Posted October 15, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photos. Thanks

  8. Posted October 15, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    These are outstanding, Bruce! Many thanks!

  9. Mark R.
    Posted October 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the eye candy Bruce…if these are your first insect photos, you’re a natural.

  10. Posted October 16, 2020 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Absolutely fantastic. I printed out two for my wall (I’m 50 but my wife still lets me tape pics up on my wall).
    Your camerawork is intimidatingly good. I have a praying mantis shot I was going to send in but I’m not sure now.

    Keep up the good bug-gery (hehhe) shots of the insects and sending them in for us to enjoy.
    D.A., NYC

  11. Mark Jones
    Posted October 16, 2020 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    Excellent macros, thanks.

  12. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted October 17, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Great shots, particularly like the sweat bee and jumping spider!

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