Insects, Arachnids, Arthropods

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Western Yellowjacket or Vespula pensylvanica

f5.6, 1/20s, ISO100, 271µm, at 17 steps

Western Yellowjacket or Vespula pensylvanica

f5.6, 1/20s, ISO100, 271µm, at 17 steps

Soft Tick or Argas persicus

f4, 3.5x, 32 shots, 64 micron step length

Soft Tick or Argas persicus

Leather like back f2.8, 5x, 19micron step length, 29 shots

Soft Tick or Argas persicus

Ventral side showing the mouth parts, genital slit, anus and spiracle plates. f5.6, 24 steps at 58µm, 100 ISO 1.6 sec

Soft Tick or Argas persicus

Soft Tick lateral side showing sutural line.
f5.6, 4X, 54 steps at 58µm, 100 ISO, .6 sec

Using a hibiscus flower I had in the back yard that had red petals and bright yellow stamen, I positioned the ant on the yellow stamen and started to shoot.

What I like about this shot is the yellow reflection of the yellow stamen on the legs and the contrasting red petals against the head of the ant. I used two flash's set at different intensities and a continuous light from below. I used my Laowa 25mm F2.8 2.5-5.0X macro lens and shot at 3x with 26 shots stacked using Zerene Stacker.

I had minimal post editing of cleaning up a few dirt spots using GIMP and I also decreased the red intensity of the background a bit to help differentiate it from the ant.

Gray Jumping Spider or Possibly Menemerus sp.120 shots at 5X

Arizona Bark Scorpion or Centruoides sculpturatus 306 shots at 2X magnification. Name Centruroides, using the Greek noun κεντρον, cen-tron = “a sharp point.”

Found in our house. Nasty little guys particularly for small children and seniors because they are the most venomous scorpion in North America but usually not lethal.

The ventral side highlights the Book lungs (round areas with slots on the bottom) where they breath and the Pectins (feather like) that are sensory organs thought to sense surfaces, vibrations and possibly chemoreceptors like pheromones'.

Saddlebag dragon fly

Milkweed Bug

Megachile rotundata or leafcutter bee

If you ever see half circles cut out of your rose bush, this is the guy that did it.

Green Tree Hopper

Cicadellidae family
Glass Wing sharp shooter

Anax junius
from the Aeshnidae family Darner Dragonfly

Target like mask on upper part of the face. This specimen is over 10 years old. 98 shots

Anax junius
or Common Green Darner

This specimen is over 10 years old. 158 shots

Polistes apachus
Texas Paper Wasp

Polistes apachus
Texas Paper Wasp

Long Legged Green Fly or Condylostylus longicornis.

This is a beneficial fly that preys upon aphids and mites that feed upon our garden plants. You will note that on the lower thorax near the hind leg you can see the tan colored ovoid fan-like structure call the halteres, which oscillate during flight and act as a "stabilizer or gyroscope".

Leaf Hopper

Thyanta custator

Asclepias subulata or Desert Milkweed infested with aphids

Asclepias subulata or Desert Milkweed infested with aphids

Aphid cornicles are abdominal appendages that secrete an array of volatile and nonvolatile compounds with diverse ecological functions. The emission of alarm pheromones yields altruistic benefits for clone-mates in the aphid colony, which is essentially a superorganism with a collective fate. Secreted droplets also contain unsaturated triglycerides, fast-drying adhesives that can be lethal when smeared on natural enemies but more often impede their foraging efficiency. The longest cornicles have evolved in aphids that feed in exposed locations and are likely used to scent-mark colony intruders.

Apiomerus flavivenris
Bee Assassin

Trupanea sp. possibly arizonensis
Fruit fly

The background was created by a layer of objects. First, I used several citrus leaves and small pine branches from our Christmas tree (don't tell my wife, best seen in the lower left area) in front of a backdrop of a silver sparkle paper, when turned at just the right angle the paper reflects a rainbow of colors. I used a small DIY soft box, made using tracing paper and lit the backdrop with a LED light. It created a swirl effect that draws the eyes right to the wasp.

I took 97 shots using a manual focus rail at a focus step of 0.1mm and used Zerene Stacker.

Microcentrum rhombifolium
Green Katydid

My daughter Kelli called me one morning and actually caught this in a cup on the side of her family room wall. When I got it, it was all bright green. As time progressed the color changed to a yellow. I am finding that many grasshoppers, crickets just don't pin out well if you wait too long. After a few days the legs start to rot and get mushy

373 shots, he was a big boy

Unknown species spider web
in the Warwick, UK winter

Pantala flavescens Wandering Glider Dragonfly

This is one of the first macro shots I took and learned a lot from the process. I was disappointed with the grey abdomen color because it actually was a light blue color. I discovered that the lights I bought were yellow colored. I did some research about color temperatures and Kelvins and switched to white lights afterwards.

I should have toned down the background a bit as the sparkles tend to make the image too busy and distract from the wings.

Manduca quinquemaculata
Tomato Horn Worm

Possibly Subfamily Eupelminae Cookoo Wasp in citrus grove

Possibly Subfamily Eupelminae Cookoo Wasp in citrus grove

Diceroprocta apache or Apache Cicada

One of my first shots on a complete white background. Its not that easy to get pure white.

Diceroprocta apache or Apache Cicada

Thomisidae family
White crab spider with red dots

Collected in the tall grasses in a citrus grove. Because of the eye arraignment, it may be a crab spider the genus Thomisidae

43 stacked images
Lowa lens at 5X magnification
Using light box with four lights.
I like the water sparkles on the hair

Thomisidae Family
Dark Spider

Possibly Notozulia entreriana or spittlebug nymph
in the family Aphrophoridae

Immature spittlebugs and froghoppers — the nymphs surround themselves with small foamy masses that resemble spittle. Usually pale yellow, green, or tan, wingless, soft, juicy-looking little bugs.

Possibly Notozulia entreriana or spittlebug nymph in
Rosmarinus officinalis or Tuscan Blue Rosemary plant

Functions of the bitter-tasting (who tasted this?) foam may include: 1. Protection from predators 2. high humidly microclimate 3. UV light protection 4. Perhaps some antimicrobial properties.
A spittlebug will extend the tip of its abdomen outside the foam like a snorkel to get needed oxygen while hiding in its “bubble wrap” tent. If threatened by a predator, the spittlebug will pop several tiny bubbles, combining them into one super-bubble large enough to provide a temporary supply of oxygen while they stay out of sight.

Blue Dasher or
Pachydiplax longipennis

72 shots

Blue Dasher or
Pachydiplax longipennis

190 shots

Boardered plant bug or Largus californicus
29 shots at 1.5X

Sitting on a Lantana camara plant. Adults feed on the juices of soft plant tissues. Sometimes they form large groups on parts of plants. From the Order Hemiptera or True Bugs.

Bordered plant bug or Largus californicus 89 shots 1.5X

Sitting on a Lantana camara plant. Adults feed on the juices of soft plant tissues. Sometimes they form large groups on parts of plants. From the Order Hemiptera or True Bugs.

Leafhopper Assassin bug or Zelus renardii egg case

181 shots 5X f2.8 on Ficus leaf, lateral view

Leafhopper Assassin bug or Zelus renardii egg case

Top view. Note White Fly stuck on egg clutch.

Used Tomlov digital microscope

Potter Wasp nest

Stuck on a leaf from an Ficus tree. Single shot, 1.5X, f6.3

The most widely used building material is mud made of a mixture of soil and regurgitated water, but many species use chewed plant material, instead.

The name "potter wasp" derives from the shape of the mud nests built by species of Eumenes and similar genera. It is believed that Native Americans based their pottery designs upon the form of local potter wasp nests.[2]

When a cell is completed, the adult wasp usually collects beetle larvae, spiders, or caterpillars and, paralyzing them, places them in the cell to serve as food for a single wasp larva.

As a normal rule, the adult wasp lays a single egg in the empty cell before provisioning it. Some species lay the egg in the opening of the cell, suspended from a thread of dried fluid. When the wasp larva hatches, it drops and starts to feed upon the supplied prey for a few weeks before pupating. The complete lifecycle may last from a few weeks to more than a year from the egg until the adult emerges. Adults are black or brown, and usually marked with contrasting patterns of yellow, white, orange, red or combinations of colors. Adult potter wasps feed on floral nectar.

Robber Fly or Efferia aestuans

f4.0, 4x, 1/8s, ISO100, 54 steps at 54µ/step

Citrus Mealybug

or Planococcus citri

f16, 100 ISO, 5 sec, 5X

2 Citrus Mealybugs

or Planococcus citri

f8, 1 sec., 100 ISO, 5X, 84 µm step, 22 shots

Found on the same tree as the Potter Wasp nest. P. citri is a major pest for citrus trees and has developed resistance to some insecticides. Natural control of P. citri is usually dependent on natural enemies whose numbers are affected by the same insecticides used on P. citri.

Predator's include a number of parasitoid wasps that attack the nymphs, including Leptomastidea abnormis, Leptomastix dactylopii, Chrysoplatycerus splendens, and Anagyrus pseudococci. Predators include the brown lacewing Sympherobius barberi, the green lacewing Chrysopa lateralis, hoverfly larvae, and the scale-feeding snout-moth larva.[1] The mealybug destroyer (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri), a ladybird beetle, readily attacks the citrus mealybug.[2]