I hope you enjoy taking a closer look at some of the things I find interesting.
- North America (155)
- South America (171)
- Amphibians (10)
- Frogs and Toads (10)
- Arachnids (41)
- Fungi (3)
- Insects (215)
- Ants, Bees, Wasps and Relatives (44)
- Barklice (1)
- Beetles (27)
- Butterflies and Moths (55)
- Cockroaches (2)
- Dragonflies (1)
- Earwigs (1)
- Flies (20)
- Grasshoppers and Relatives (9)
- Mantids (3)
- Net-winged Insects (7)
- Termites (5)
- Thrips (1)
- True Bugs (57)
- Walkingsticks (1)
- Webspinners (1)
- Mammals (2)
- Millipedes (1)
- Polyxenids (1)
- Plants (3)
- Reptiles (13)
- Velvet Worms (3)
- Amphibians (10)
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.
Each one of these eggs from the underside of a leaf was parasitized by a wasp. Â Their barrel shape with round fringed caps suggests they might be stink bug eggs. Had a stink bug nymph emerged, the caps would have been neatly opened. Instead, they each have a roundish hole chewed in them. In fact, there’s a parasitoid wasp straggler chewing its way free from the rightmost egg.
I might be seeing things, but you can almost make out the wasp’s body through the transparent egg shell.
I didn’t notice at the time, but a mite came along.
These two photos of critters both 4mm long were taken less than an hour apart in spots just a few feet apart. I believe these two are probably a mimic and its model.
I first photographed the jumping spider. I only got a few shots before I lost it. Later I spotted the ant and took quite a few photos. Here I selected one that would show roughly the same pose as the spider.
The area around the rearmost eyes of the jumping spider is darkened to better match the larger black eyes of the ant. The dark spots on the spider’s abdomen are an anomaly though. Maybe this ant isn’t the model after all?
Those are some weird looking antennae for a planthopper. After a bit of research, I determined that this member of the family Delphacidae belongs in the genus Copicerus. There are at least three species in Brazil according to this page. One of those species, Copicerus irroratus, ranges into temperate North America.
This atypical treehopper belongs not to the family Membracidae, but to a separate family, Aetalionidae.
Searching around on the internet, it seems most photographers generally seem to catch these hoppers while tending their eggs, as shown here.
To learn a bit more about the family check out Ted C. MacRae’s postÂ from earlier this year.
I found quite a few cocoons like the one shown above. They all had openings where the moths or parasitoids had emerged. I didn’t spot any hairy caterpillars that might be responsible for them. Here are a few more examples of the cocoons.
This is the largest bagworm I’ve ever seen. The twigs look like they’ve been cut up by a beaver. It was empty, so a moth must have already emerged. I know it’s a bagworm because later in the trip I found another one that still had a caterpillar in it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.
I found several of these caterpillars. They all had lighter colored mid-abdominal segments, like this one.