I hope you enjoy taking a closer look at some of the things I find interesting.
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- Frogs and Toads (10)
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- Insects (215)
- Ants, Bees, Wasps and Relatives (44)
- Barklice (1)
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- Amphibians (10)
Category Archives: Featured Photos
Because they are gregarious, one rarely sees a lone barklouse. I was surprised to find this one by itself on a leaf. There might have been a group nearby, but I didn’t find them.
Elsewhere in the park though, I did find an aggregation.
What looks a bit like peanut brittle is presumably an egg mass. I found this on lichen covered bark at the base of a tree. Overall it was about 25mm long, which would make each of the embedded eggs less than 2mm long.
Each egg appears to be elliptical, with a sort of knob at the exposed end.
I don’t have a clue what is responsible for this, so I’d love to see comments from anyone that might have an idea. I’ve been through the “Eggs and Egg Cases” chapter of Tracks & Sign of InsectsÂ a few times already, but I haven’t spotted any likely suspects.
This attractive little beetle was resting when I found it. Looking at it here, it almost appears to be nature’s idea of a gaudy holiday light display. Just imagine each of those elytral punctures as a tiny LED, and then imagine them programmed so that the dorsal patterns shift down the eltytra, one puncture at a time. Jokes aside, it actually blends in pretty well with the browning foliage.
This is a leaf-mining leaf beetle, so called because the larvae feed between the surfaces of leaves, creating mines. Adults feed on foliage, and it may be responsible for some of the leaf damage visible here, though I didn’t actually see it eating.
This is the first time I can recall encountering one of these wasps in the field. Chalcid wasps are easily recognized by their enlarged hind femora.
If you missed the one that emerged from a chrysalis I collected, check out this earlier post.
These attractively patterned little cocoons seem to be a common sight no matter where I travel. Each one holds the pupa of a parasitic wasp. I’ll often find what’s left of a caterpillar host nearby. The ones I notice are usually suspended by a thread, as here. That’s not always the case though.
Don’t stare at the eyes too long; you might fall under its spell.
Leafcutter ants are a common sight in the Brazilian cerrado. I admit to being apathetic when it comes to photographing them. In order for me to turn my lens on them, something unusual generally has to be happening. In this case, I first noticed something odd occurring around one of the nest entrances. Looking closer, I could see the ants were being attacked by a small fly. I had read about that, but had never seen it personally. Intrigued, I figured I’d spend a few minutes shooting, even though I fully expected to end up with nothing usable. I was pleasantly surprised that one of the images managed to get both an ant and the fly in focus.
This assassin bug mimics a bee quite well. It even seems to have pollen baskets on its hind legs.