Bugshot Delaware   2 comments

I’ve been interested in insects for about ten years now.  Until a couple of months ago, I had never met anyone face to face with the same interests; until a couple of days ago, I had never gone on a walk with anyone else.  It’s been a completely solitary hobby, which is fine with me, but it was nice to finally have a change.

I took part in Bugshot Delaware, and had an amazing time.  The instructors, John Abbott, Alex Wild, and Piotr Naskrecki were incredibly knowledgeable and happy to share, and Kendra Abbott shared her own knowledge and took great care of the arrangements.  An old college friend Huzefa was there, too, which made it more special.

It took place at St. Jones Estuarian Reserve for a very good reason: this is the site of the great annual horseshoe crab spawning, on full moon nights in May and June (and apparently new moon nights, too, which I hadn’t realized).  Keep reading for more photos.

I’ve always been a sucker for photographs of flying insects.  John explained that 1/4000th of a second isn’t really fast enough to freeze most insects (high speed flash photography was later a major theme for the workshop).  However, I’m always happy to share my photos of insects in the air, no matter how crappy they are.  Heaven knows that each photo takes plenty of blood (from insect bites), sweat (from holding tough positions in the sun) and tears (from hours and hours of patience) to obtain.

Here’s a takeoff and a landing:

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Genus Toxomerus.

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Hover fly mouthparts look weird:

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The wheel position:

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The luckiest single aphid in St. Jones reserve, to walk away from this encounter unscathed:

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A millipede showing off:

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And now for the stars of the show, horseshoe crabs.  Magnificent, magnificent beasts, materializing from the rising surf, each one a memorial to all they have survived.

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Some more insects.  I fell in love with this gorgeous Dolichopodidae member.

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This was either the “Charlie Brown” beetle, or the “batman” beetle:

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Everyone knows that Salticids are the smartest, most charismatic and most endearing of arthropods, but not everyone knows that they can fly on magic carpets.

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A wasp and a beetle I need to look up when I get the time (watch this space for better IDs).

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A hairy click beetle dreaming of exploration and discovery.

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Finally, an absolutely gorgeous fly identified for me by Alex as a Sepsid fly.  Beautiful purple that I didn’t know could be found in the natural world, contrasted with the glossy green thorax.  Alex also pointed out that the wings are supposed to be very bright in the UV, which is why this one just happened to be sitting on a branch, displaying his wings, playing with his ball of spit.  Pretty much the equivalent of sitting on a motorcycle wearing a leather jacket and puffing some sort of leafy green.

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Posted 2017-06-12 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Bugshot Delaware

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  1. I love the exploratory hairy click beetle! And the sepsid fly. I am in the same boat as you — I like to take insect photos but the identification takes so much time!

  2. Thank you! I enjoyed taking the photographs, and I certainly need to chalk out enough time to make some better identifications.

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