Weekend Expedition 31: Sleeping Hymenoptera!

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What is the perfect arthropod photographic subject? Cute jumping spiders, powerful robberflies, shiny tiger beetles? I would argue that all these are great, but they are not very easy to do full photographic justice to. No, what you need is something that stays still for long periods of time, at a handy angle for posing against the light, and is pretty to boot! Sleeping bees and wasps fit this bill perfectly! Many solitary bees and wasps perch with their mandibles locked into a plant substrate. making for some fine shooting opportunities. I was lucky enough to come upon two sleeping aggregations with Coelioxys bees and Ammophila wasps at Island View Beach on Friday morning. Because they were so still, I was able to try many kinds of shots with them, I hope you will enjoy seeing them as much as I loved taking them!

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The colours of the dawn sky show from the east , while a diffused flash and a fill card light the subject. This is Coelioxys rufitarsus, one of the parasitic Megachilids. These beauties lay their eggs in other Megachilid nests, and their larvae consume their host’s provisions.

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This Ammophila was shot using my standard lighting using the Monster Macro Rig.

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I love the elegant pointed abdomens of these awesome bees!

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This shot of the two sleeping insects was shot from the tripod with all natural light, 1/8 sec, f13.

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Tripod shot of the aggregation, silhouetting them against the dawn sky.

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This shot shows the Coelioxys waking up.

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When I have the time and a great subject, I like to compose some “cover shots”.

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Of course I also shot them on white!

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This is the second aggregation, a bit further up the beach.

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Expedition 31: Sleeping Hymenoptera!

  1. Pingback: Nomada | Ibycter

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