Readers’ wildlife photos

October 15, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we feature insect photos taken by reader Bruce Budris. His notes and IDs are indented, and click on the photos to enlarge them:

I haven’t contributed to this feature in a while, but I have a some new insect photos that you may share with your readers if you’re so inclined.  All of these pictures were taken in Columbia County, NY.

The first in a focus-stacked image of a Tiny Yellow Fly (Genus: Gymnochiromiya) on a matching yellow flower.  The fly is approximately 3-4 mm in length.

The second photo is, I believe, a pair of tiny Gorse Seed Weevils (Exapion ulicis) on a budding pink clover.  The weevils are about 2-3 mm in length.  This was a lucky accident as I was photographing the blooming clover only to discover the presence of the weevils (in focus, no less) later on when reviewing my flower shots:

The third photo is a focus-stacked image of a resting Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) which is the adult stage of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar:

This photo is focus-stacked image along the length of Black Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) resting on the branch of a dill plant. While usually more green than yellow, this one, and others we have here are decidedly more yellow:

After nicely accommodating a lengthy shoot, the caterpillar above has returned to feeding.

This photo is a Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus). This is the only focus-stacked image taken outdoors and is slightly abbreviated since she only had so much patience with my repeated requests to remain perfectly still:
The always beautiful Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) with its transparent wings extended.  Always frustrating to try and photograph since they waste no time as they go about their business:

An Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) feeding on a Mexican Sunflower:
A focus-stacked image of a brilliantly colored sweat bee (Augochlora pura) on Dara Queen Anne’s Lace:

The last two photos are of a female Reddish-Brown Stag Beetle (Lucanus capreolus).  While outside, she flew into me in the dark and latched on with her barbed feet (they are terrible fliers).  I assumed it was a sign from the gods and proceeded to set up for some photography while carrying her around on my shirt.  It was not to be however, as once delicately removed from my shirt and added to a leaf in the studio, she proceeded to attempt a great escape.

13 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. I’m liking this “focus stacked” method. Hope the iPhone does this automatically one day. Did you hear that Cupertino?


    … probably needs an even finer lens…

  2. Great images (nature raw, tooth and claw). I don’t know much about beetles, but the Reddish-Brown Stag beetle’s sheen of it’s outer skin on the thorax and wings sure does remind me of an Oldsmobile I had once.

  3. These are terrific! I have no idea how you focus stacked the metallic sweat bee, since they too are in constant motion. Does your camera have built in focus bracketing?

    1. The sweat bee had a brief stint in the refrigerator to induce a cold morning-like stasis. It gave me a few minutes of stillness before flying off. While my camera (Nikon D850) does have a focus-shifting feature, I use a focus rail for all my stacked macro. I find the in-camera focus-shifting introduces too much “focus breathing” at small distances. I do however use the feature for focus-stacked landscapes.

  4. These are beautiful photos. Ordinarily the spiders are my clear favorites, and this one is great, but I really love the picture of the weevils. They look like something Jim Henson might have designed.

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