Posts Tagged ‘mating insects’

Most of us have heard that female praying mantises eat their mates after mating, so what happens when a pair of cannibal flies mate?

I was quite a distance away when I spotted this pair of insects, but I immediately recognized them as  Red-footed Cannibalflies (Promachus rufipes), a species of giant robber flies. These flies are really big and have a very distinctively shaped body (and I had done some research on them for a previous posting). Cannibalflies are fierce predators and are reportedly very aggressive. Would the male survive the mating process?

I observed the pair for quite a while and concluded that the “cannibal” in this insect’s name refers to its behavior toward other insects. The male cannibal fly flew away unscathed.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Do you prefer to take photos alone or with others?

Normally I prefer to shoot alone, to move at my own pace and shoot whatever catches my eye at a given moment. However, there are advantages to working side-by-side with another photographer. The other person can serve as a spotter and point out opportunities and subject that you might have otherwise missed. It’s also interesting and instructive after a shoot is done to compare images and see the same scene through another set of eyes.

Friday late in the afternoon, I noticed that my neighbor, friend, and photography mentor, Cindy Dyer, was out in her garden taking photos of her beautiful flowers. Cindy, a noted photographer, has been a constant influence on my photography this past year, encouraging me and inspiring me. She loves this time of the year, when nature explodes with color, and her blog is full of beautiful images of flowers of all varieties (and lots of other cool photos too).

When I started shooting with Cindy, I was shooting a lot of flowers and a few insects, but gradually moved to shooting more insects than flowers. Somehow my eyes are attracted to insects. Shortly after joining Cindy in her garden with my camera and tripod, I spotted what I thought was an interesting looking insect. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a pair of mating moths, that together were about one inch long (2.5 centimeters). They were positioned in such a way that the only way to capture them was to shoot from directly overhead. I had real problems with depth of field as I got my macro lens as close as it would let me get.

I challenged Cindy (in a friendly way) to photograph this couple and she took up the challenge and posted an image in her blog. It was an interesting challenge pitting Nikon against Canon and teacher against student as we explored the limits of our macro lenses and photography skills.

This little incident helped to remind me of the benefits of shooting with someone else, especially someone who gently pushes me forward. It usually works best for me when we travel somewhere and shoot side-by-side part of the time and wander on our own the rest of the time—the best of both worlds.


Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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