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Posts Tagged ‘Diabrotica undecimpunctata’

As I was checking out the cattails that are growing like crazy at my local marsh, I spotted this little beetle chewing on the soft insides of a broken cattail.  I immediately recognized him as a Spotted Cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), a species that I encountered numerous times last summer when photographing flowers.

I really like the texture of the immature cattail, both on the outside as well as on the inside, and the bold design of the beetle.  I think that those elements and the varied shades of green make for a cool, graphic image.

cucumber1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Yesterday I did a posting on a couple of interactions between birds of two species, a heron and a goose. Continuing on the same theme, here is a photo from last weekend of an interaction between insects of two species, a bumblebee and a Spotted Cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). The beetle was already on the flower when the bumblebee arrived. Looking at the size of the invader, the beetle seems to have decided that a strategic retreat was the best course of action.

Interesting insect interaction

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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We had a few warm days this past weekend and there were a lot more insects around the still-flowering plants than there had been the week before. I focused a lot of my attention on some white flowers, where bees were active (I may post some bee photos later), but my eyes were especially drawn to a tiny fly with red eyes, clear and black patterned wings and a shaggy-looking body. Despite his diminutive stature, I managed to get a pretty clear shot of him. If you click on the photo, you can even see the hairs on his head. I searched the internet and couldn’t seem to find and identification of my little fly. His wings look a little like a scorpion fly, but the tail is all wrong.

The other photo is a spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), a photogenic insect whose photo I’ve posted several times already. I especially like the pose of the beetle as he is climbing up the flower. The photo also gives you an idea of the size differential between this beetle and the tiny fly.

Tiny fly on a white flower

Ain’t no mountain high enough…

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It seems that as long as plants are blooming, some insects, especially those considered to be pests, will continue to be active. This past weekend as I was looking at flowers at a local garden, I spotted a familiar insect, the Spotted Cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). I consider this beetle to be attractive, with his different shades of green and multiple black spots, but recognize that it causes a lot of destruction (and you can see some of the petals of the flower that it has chewed through).

Several cucumber beetles were on the flowers and I was able to get some pretty good shots with my 100mm macro lens, a lens that has fallen into disuse as I have focused more of my attention on birds. The photos show the beetles in several different “poses”—I especially like the first one that seems to have caught the beetle as he is chewing on the flower. You may want to click on the photos to see higher resolution views.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The day was winding down as I retraced my steps back to entrance of Green Spring Gardens, when I caught a glimpse of a Spotted Cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). My initial instinct was to switch from my 55-250mm telephoto zoom lens  to my 100mm macro lens so that I could fill the frame with this colorful little insect on a single flower.

I was tired and a little impatient, so I decided to photograph the beetle with the “wrong” lens. In retrospect, I am happy that I made that decision, because I ended up with an image that I really like. Yes, the beetle is still there, but the shape and positions of individual buds of the flower are what make this image stand out for me.

What did I learn? I realize that I need to consciously question my initial instincts and consider shooting a usual subject in an unusual way. I can’t always rely on fatigue to be the causative factor for a good result.

Spotted Cucumber beetle on red flower

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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