Friday 22 August 2014

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion Flies can commonly be found lurking in the undergrowth, in hedgerows, nettle beds, waterside vegetation and, less frequently, in gardens. When viewed up close they are impressive looking insects with their long faces and strikingly patterned wings. The males are even more noticeable as they have a scorpion-like appendage at the rear of their abdomens which is actually their genitalia.

While Scorpion Flies therefore have great potential as macro subjects I tend to find them very difficult to photograph. They are extremely skittish and will rarely sit and pose for the camera. On early morning shoots, when they would be cold enough to co-operate, I rarely tend to see them, presumably because they drop deeper into the undergrowth when they roost in an evening. Occasionally, however, I find one that is willing to pose for a few frames. On this occasion the weather was very grey and cool and there was a light drizzle. This individual allowed me to move my camera and tripod into position and even gave me time to position a reflector to throw a little light on its abdomen. Within a couple of minutes it flew off.

This individual is likely to be Panorpa communis but could be the almost identical Panorpa germanica. These images were taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Olympus 60mm macro lens.


Friday 1 August 2014

The Confused Grasshopper...again

My 'Confused Grasshopper' image is still doing the rounds. This month it's featured in Dales Life magazine.