June 12, 2008

Hey, what’s bugging you?

Posted in blogging, photography tagged , , , , , , , at 10:41 pm by czygyny


I know most folks don’t care for the buggy world of insects. Insects are someting to ward off with screened windows, something that keeps a can of Raid under the sink and a can of OFF! close by during the summer as evening approaches. Insects are what we hang the glowing house of death, the bug-zapper for on our back porches to take secret fascination at the gruesome manner of death of a particularly large bug that is having a more difficult time of its bitter demise.

Insects are a monthly visit from the pest control fellow pumping brews so toxic that he wears a spiffy white suit to isolate himself from the exposure. Insects are creepy, crawly pests that ruin picnics and spoil the pantry. And what is it with the six legs, multiple eyes and exoskeleton thing going on?

Well, if you are part of that crowd, it might find this gallery a bit discomfiting, but give it a try…insects are fascinating creatures close-up, their ornamentation and color, from warning hazard yellow/black combos in the venomous wasps to the  baubled and bright color patterned infant katydid to the bee-mimic hoverfly with wings a-whir, flying with the kind of precision that anything man-made can only envy.

Even the wasps are different from each other, some are rusty-red and yellow, but most come in the yellow and black motif, the difference being the size, I show three different ones in these images, and even a tiny black bee dwarfed by its giant cousins. One even has big green eyes.

The little green fella is what I am assuming to be an instar katydid, they go through incomplete metamorphosis so they are small versions of the adults, sometimes with a great difference in ornamentation and color.

The hover-fly is a bit difficult to see in the image, taken as she flies motionless over the creek-bed stones. They are one of my favorite little bugs, they seem the epitome of joyful flight.

The wasp with the green ball in her mouth is a great example of the insect eating capabilities these creatures offer. That is a yummy, chewed up caterpillar in her mandibles. I do my best to make sure nests go undisturbed in areas with low traffic after seeing just how much these little powerhouses hunt! Some hunt infant grasshoppers (before they get large enough to devour your garden), some hunt spiders, others just crickets. They make their brood nests out of paper, out of mud, meticulously gathered dried grass, little circles of leaf cuttings; building them in holes, under eaves, in the ground, some even build minute small necked pots as if a tiny potter had been hard at work.

They nectar on some flowers that butterflies seem uninterested in visiting, like my carrots left gone to seed, and take up the slack in the pollinating game that the bees leave undone, but the greatest reason for keeping them near is their insect control.

I am very seldom stung, always from disturbing a hidden and unknown nest. Otherwise, they fly past me on their ramblings, I stick my camera lens right up on them without distress and they are usually quite tolerant of my presence around their nests.

If this gallery gives you the willies, just wait until I complete a spider gallery. We get some really BIG ones out here in the country, some so large that you can hear them running up the walls!





  1. rimewire said,

    I love insects.

    elyens lab tanderhistorms


  2. leafless said,

    I hate bees. 😦

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