Beetles on flowers


I took this photo while I was teaching on a field course in Spain earlier this month (harder work than it sounds).  It was a nice opportunity to try out my camera (which I have been trying and failing to do on this blog) as spring is in full swing over there.  I was amazed by the diversity of animals that I only found on flowers (although part of that might have been that the flower-dwellers were more noticeable…), but I was surprised to see what look like two different life history stages of potentially the same species on a single flower.  Does anybody know what this beetle is…?

UPDATE 21/7/13: My friend Patrick suggests that it could be Cryptocephalus rugicollis.  Looks like a good call to me!


52 Weeks of Photography: Week 4 (Dave the spider)

First, a warning to anyone who doesn’t like spiders: I was trying out my macro again, and there are some pretty big close-ups…   Now that that’s over with, this week I wanted to try out a new toy.  I had been hoping that my new light box would arrive for last week’s macro attempt, […]

52 Weeks of Photography: Week 3 (Insect Graveyards)

Last week I mentioned being inspired by this fascination post from Dragonfly Woman, who looked at the diversity of insects that had passed-on in various light fittings around her home.  I thought I would try the same thing, as it gives an opportunity to get close to the wee beasties without them running away.  Here’s the result: […]

52 Weeks of Photography: Week 2 (An Early Morning)

So originally this was going to be a post full of wonderful sunrise photographs.  Unfortunately, a combination of cloudy British skies and a slope that refused (no matter how much I willed it) to turn to face the south-east  conspired against me.  Instead, I had a good chance to try out my macro attachment.  I […]


Newly-hatched preying mantis - isn't he cute!?

So our lab ordered some mantids from Home Depot (which don’t seem to be available so I presume it’s a seasonal product) for predation experiments. I was under the impression that they needed specific conditions to hatch that wouldn’t be met until next June. Then someone noticed one crawling over a desk. Sure enough, there were a few dozen wandering aimlessly about, migrating away from the egg case that was sitting in a corner of the lab. I think we got most of them, but those that we didn’t catch should take care of our fruitfly problem!