The start of something good

July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Since the debacle that occurred at my old shooting grounds at Minnippi park, I have felt somewhat lost in terms of macro. I’ve tried several different locations since, none of which have really been productive. This is partly due to the fact it is the middle of winter here at the moment, but also because of the sites themselves. They all seem to lack once or more of the key ingredients I look for in a macro site. I have written about these ingredients on another site and will make them the subject of my next post here.

After this period of macro limbo however, I am happy to report that I have come across a new site that is showing massive amounts of potential! I have visited a couple of times now and each time am seeing different species, including a few that I don’t normally seen until the warmer months. This bodes very well for spring when I can’t help thinking that the area will be crawling with insects.

The area is quite large and contains several distinct habitat zones ranging from open grassy fields to acacia forests, scrubby areas and groves of different trees that I am not familiar with. Being spread over a larger area it will take me several more visits to mentally catalogue what species are to be found in which areas, but that is all part of the fun!

On a future visit I will grab some images of the habitats to show what the area is like and where I look for subjects. Stay tuned for that one!

Enough of the harping on about how great the area could turn out to be I hear you saying! Just post some pictures already :).  Ok, as you wish! Below are a few from my latest outing at the spot. Enjoy.

IMG_5974Purple Line Blue butterfly – Prosotas dubiosa   (Click image for larger version)
Canon 5D, MPE-65 @ 1.4x, Full flash

I was quite surprised to find this little butterfly camped out on a dead acacia leaf soaking up the morning sun as it is much earlier in the season that I usually see them. Given the pristine wing condition I would guess it is very newly emerged.

 

IMG_6016Orange Lauxaniid Fly – Sapromyza occipitalis   (Click image for larger version)
Canon 5D, MPE-65 @ 3.3x, Full flash

I see these lauxaniids occasionally but they usually tend to be quite flighty and hard to photography. This one was feeling the effects of the morning cold which made this image possible and much more pleasant than coming away empty ended as I usually do with these! Given the wide spread eyes and massively inflated abdomen I’d guess this is a heavily pregnant female.

 

Eucalyptus WeevilEucalyptus Weevil – Gonipterus sp    (Click image for larger version)
Canon 5D, MPE-65 @ 3.3x, Full flash

For non-insect lovers, the term “Weevil” usually conjures up images of slug like creatures that infest household food, but the fact is that true weevils are some of the most charismatic insects I come across. The level of detail they exhibit is quite amazing on a small insect and each species has their own personality. It’s always a good day if I find one of these little beauties to photograph!

 

IMG_6047Gum-leaf Katydid – Torbia viridissima    (Click image for larger version)
Canon 5D, MPE-65 @ 3.3x, Full flash

As far as Katydids that I find go, this Gum-leaf species has to be up there as one of the best looking at the nymph stages. The individual shown here is probably around 4th instar and is already losing the intense colouration that the slightly younger versions have. By the time they reach maturity, the eye and leg colouration has all but disappeared and the wings have grown and covered the back colour. At the early stages however, they are a truly beautiful Katydid.

 

IMG_6059Zebra Shield Bug – Bathrus variegatus   (Click image for larger version)
Canon 5D, MPE-65 @ 1.4x, Full flash

On most occasions the MPE-65 is my ideal macro lens. Bitingly sharp and super versatile, but when it comes to larger subjects it can become frustrating as you just cant fit them all in the frame! That was the case with this Zebra shield bug. While I could fit this single subject in the shot, you can see in the top left hand corner another shield bug with which this one is mating. If the pair was not constantly on the move I would have tried shooting a panorama to stitch together, but given the movement this wasn’t feasible. Ah, well, I guess one shield bug at a time will have to do!

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