Tag Archives: Insect photography

One Last Butterfly?

We have had some lovely weather just recently but this morning when I took Fizz out the sun was shining and it felt cool. T-shirt,  shirt and body warmer on at mid-day, I think that the summer is fading.

So let us not waste a drop of it.

The Red Admiral has frustrated me all summer, I saw plenty but just couldn’t get close and then I got close today. The Ivy seduced the poor animal and it was helpless to resist me.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red AdmiralThis animal didn’t mind what I did. It was the one that we all look for. I put my camera down and looked closely with my eyes and I felt in awe of it’s beauty. I could probably have picked it up but I didn’t think of that, anyway it was busy.

The Red Admiral is a wonderful subject to use when discussing butterfly anatomy because of it’s colour. As a brush footed butterfly the hairs on it’s brush feet stand out, it has the best labial palps of any butterfly that I know and it’s probiscus and antennae are pretty cute too but I don’t feel up to doing butterfly anatomy tonight. I am just drinking in a beauty.

Anybody who wants to use my photographs to help to explain to their own audience is more than welcome to do so.

Red Admiral

So anyway this butterfly wasn’t comatose and it flitted around all over the place but it didn’t mind me following.




probiscusIt is just an insect but I think that I am blessed to know an insect.


Thank you very much for the pictures. Yeah, yeah, you will be a star now, I have just got to talk to those connections that I told you about. Don’t worry it just takes time. Thanks for the pics. 🙂

You were beautiful.

Like attracts Like

Hi, I have had a very frustrating morning chasing a single butterfly around a large field and not catching it. Now I need a sit down before I take Fizz out.

I thought that I could show you some pictures of a Scorpion Fly. These are old pictures, I didn’t take any photos this morning because I couldn’t get close to my target and I didn’t take pictures of anything else because I was obsessed and now I will have to go back tomorrow.

People sometimes leave nice comments saying that my pictures are beautiful and I appreciate that but I do know that it is not the picture it is the animal that is so strikingly beautiful, seeing it up close can take you aback.

Here is a prime example of what I am talking about.

Scorpion FlyThis is a Scorpion Fly, Panorpa spp. (spp means “species” and when you see that it means we don’t know which species it is) there are three species of Scorpion Fly in the UK and to separate them you have to examine their genitals under a microscope, which shouldn’t be that difficult because that big Scorpion like sting is actually his genitalia but I didn’t have a microscope on me.

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion FlyPerhaps he is not a classical beauty and you might be thinking, “Who could possibly love something that looks like that, apart from Colin of course?”

The answer is, someone who looks like this.

Scorpion FlyThis is a female Scorpion Fly and she doesn’t have the big wotsit stingy thing but she is the more formidable of the pair.

Neither fly has a sting or offers any harm to humans, they eat mostly dead insects that they either find or steal from Spider’s webs.

However the female will sometimes kill the male after mating.

Most websites will tell you this, “to avoid being killed the male will offer the female a gift, in the run up to mating, of a large glob of spittle.”

Personally I think that is half the problem, spit is not a popular gift idea and that is more likely the reason why she tries to kill him.

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion FlySo there we have it another adorable Diptera species the Scorpion Fly.


Scorpion Fly

FemaleScorpion Fly


Beautiful Names

Yesterday I was photographing a lovely wildflower called Meadowsweet and I thought that was a really nice name. I will post it later but today the sun is shining and I want to go out and have another look at it.

That started me thinking about beautiful names. I would do you a post about Rosebay Willowherb but that will be flowering soon so I will save that one.

Instead this is a post about the Cream-bordered Green Pea.

Earias clorana, it is on the wing now but not for much longer. May-June is it’s flight time. These are old pictures. I just think that it is a beautiful name.

Cream-bordered Green Pea

Cream-bordered Green Pea

Cream-bordered Green Pea

Cream-bordered Green PeaMoths are great we should have more of them.

Now it is time to walk the Dog.

Do I Look Like A Horse?

This is a post about a Horse Fly. Family Tabanidae, genus Haematopota, commonly known as Clegs. I haven’t got it down to species yet but I will.

Then I will find out where she lives and I will go round and beat her dad up for failing to bring her up properly. It is a she, just as with Mosquitoes it is only the females that drink blood, they need the protein to reproduce.

Horse FlyNow I am very tolerant of Mosquitoes but the real big difference is that they don’t hurt.

This little beauty has knife like mandibles (mouth parts) that she uses to rip and slice flesh apart to get to the blood. The pain is pretty immediate unlike a Mosquito who relies on stealth and a painless bite.

Horse FlyShe has been having a go at me for a couple of weeks now and I have been really keen to get a photograph so that I can find out a little bit more about her. The trouble has been my instinctive reaction to pain. She really is a little bleeder with the Devil’s horns.

Horse Fly

Horse FlyClegs are only little Horse Flies, they come a lot bigger than this and more painful too. I am glad I am not a Horse.

I will make a nice video of her slicing mouth parts just as soon as I find someone willing to stand still while I film the action. 🙂

Gaping WoundPretty little thing isn’t she?