Posts Tagged ‘stink bug’

As we move deeper into spring, I am increasingly walking around with my macro lens on my camera and I view anything that moves (and some that don’t) as a potential subject. I recently captured some images of a shield bug that I spotted on a rotten bug. Most often people refer to these insects as “stink bugs,” but I figured I’d attract more readers with the word “shield” than with the word “stink.” There are a lot of different kinds of shield/stink bugs and I have not been able to identify the species of my little bug.

The bug was quite active and I remembered again how difficult it is to stop action when using a macro lens at close range. I am pretty happy with the shots I was able to get. The first one gives a good view of the shield shape and shows how well camouflaged this species is for the environment. The second images shows some of the details of the back and I can’t help but love the simple, smooth background. The final image shows the bug resting for a moment, having successfully made it to the top of an obstacle.

After a winter with few macro subjects to photograph, I am relearning a few techniques and rekindling my excitement for insects and other macro subjects. I’m pretty confident that you’ll be seeing a lot of macro shots in the upcoming weeks and months.

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stink bug

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I probably should have come up with a more creative title for this posting than the name of the featured insect. I mean, really, how many readers will be enticed to read a posting about a Dusky Stink Bug (Euschistus tristigmus)?  I word “stink” is enough to turn off some people.

Stink bugs are pretty much all shaped the same, but they come in different colors and patterns, many of which are similar, so identification is not always easy. In this case, for example, I had to determine if the shoulders were rounded or pointed to distinguish between two brown stink bugs—they look pointed to me.

The stink bug was hanging upside down, feeding on a plant that I can’t identify, when I encountered him. He seemed to be feeding, although I never did get a look at his face in order to verify my assumption. The upside down perspective is a little odd and I thought about rotating the image, but ultimately decided to leave it with its original orientation.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Every now and then when I am focusing intently on an insect and trying to set up a shot, other insects creep into the frame. Only later, when I am looking at the photos on my computer screen, do I realize that they are there. My friend, Cindy Dyer, likes to call them “bonus bugs.”

This morning as I was looking at some recent wasp photos, I realized that there was a black shield bug in one of them. The shot is not that great technically, but I think that the combination of the two very different insects makes for an interesting photo, particularly because the wasp seems to have noticed the shield bug.

To me the moment is reminiscent of the bar scene in the Star Wars movie in which all kinds of different alien creatures are interacting. Click on the link to a You Tube video if you’ve never seen this classic piece of film history.

This photo really is begging for a clever caption and I’d welcome any suggestions.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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