It’s been a treat every Friday to share with you some of the wonderful close-up photographs of insects from
Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology. Scroll down for the latest batch from his insect photo diary. These beasties have some pretty amazing stories to tell! Why not have a go yourself? We would love to see your photos of wildlife where you are. Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by tagging us or using #OpenYourWindowBingo to feature in our online Community Gallery.
A click beetle. The division between the thorax and abdomen is strongly emphasised, and for a reason! When threatened, these beetles and suddenly and violently jackknife the two parts of the body with a sharp ‘click’, flipping themselves away from danger. The face of a green-veined white butterfly, again find it a bit too cold to fly away. The face of a hoverfly. This was a really cold day so many insects were not keen to fly away and so allowed me to get very close. The 14-spot ladybird, one of the smaller species. Small can be very beautiful! This is a tiny microlepidopteran moth. I have yet to discover the species name, but it was shining bright and brassy even on an overcast day. A remarkable story here. This unfortunate wasp, Nomada flava, has become infected with a virus that changed its behaviour and made it cling upside down at the top of a tall piece of grass. The wasp is (or will be) dead and the fungus gets a nice high point from which to disperse its spores into the wind. A tiny parasitic wasp looking for prey in a colony of aphids. Although strange-looking, with a prominent rostrum in the middle of its face, this is, nonetheless, a hoverfly called Rhingia campestris. In a quiet brown way, this is one of my favourites. The larvae feed on dung. The common green shieldbug, Palomena prasina. These feed on a variety of plants and, although quite cryptic, if you look carefully at vegetation on a sunny day you stand a good chance of seeing one. A female scorpionfly. These spectacular insects are quite common in hedgerows and I often see them on nettles and brambles. In males, the end of the abdomen curls up and ends in red claspers, used for mating and harmless but quite like a scorpion’s tail. The adults scavange dead insects and even rob spiders’ webs. One of quite a number of species of crane fly or daddy-long-legs. This is, I think, Tipula lunata. They have remarkably strange faces. Sometimes I wonder how they can make their legs go where they want! The St. Marks fly. These flies are very common and come out around St. Marks day, the 25th April. Close up they look quite scary but they are harmless and in fact they are thought to be important pollinators.
You can see more amazing insect close-ups in earlier posts:
Insect-eye View and An Insect A Day.