Thursday, August 8, 2013

Up Close and Personal

Here is todays mystery object.
An ornate 18th century scimitar as carried perhaps by the rider in Slawkenbergius tale ?
No its the 'shin' of a Green June Bug in close up
And with a little more distance...
There seem to be a lot of these around this year. Or maybe I just seem to be rescueing them from Jrs pool everyday. I really dont seem able to do these justice, the camera doesnt capture the depth or irridescence of the colours.
  As you can tell from the shape these are related to the scarabs. We had another equally large scarab to rescue at the end of last week but this one I'd never photographed before.
It's the Grapevine Beetle (Pelidnota punctata) but alas, once retreived, it recovered very quickly and flew off before I got a second shot.
I don't seem to have seen so many mantis around so far this year but this one was in the Buddlea the other day poised and upside down. Not particularly large either, no more than an inch and a haf'
This is a robberfly of the genus Diogmites, one of the wonderfully named 'Hanging Thieves'. Not the species I photographed last year, I suspect. This one lacks the green eyes and seems generally leaner and darker. I'll let the folks at BugGuide call this one too.
I dont know if anyone ever looks carefully at the dragonflies I'm posting but its not unusual for them to appear to have 4 legs rather than the requisite 6. This is because often as here the front pair are pulled up, knees behind the ears if they had either, and used to help in feeding. They will manipulate larger prey into position this way. It always reminds me of T.Rex with those tiny forelimbs.
You can see the arrangement very clearly here.
In flight the legs are used to make a 'basket' with those long spines to scoop up and capture flying insects. 

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