Wednesday, 20 October 2010
I've just added this image of a female scorpion fly crawling over my hand to the Scorpion fly page. I caught her in July. I had been trying for days to get a good photograph, but couldn't. They are quite nervous insects, and as soon as they detected me would fall into the vegetation - usually a whin bush - and I could never find them. So this one I caught in my net and took home. Then I got her to walk over my hand. She seemed remarkably docile. Perhaps it was the bright light, as they are usually in shade or dappled shade. Anyway, I put her back in the afternoon and was determined to get a male to photograph his tail, but try as I might I couldn't find one. There were plenty of females, but no males, though I'd seen some the previous week. All through August I tried to get a male, but couldn't. So perhaps the males are only around for a short time in June and early July.
I'll try again next summer.
We have had our first snow today, so there will be few live insects to be photographed from now on. I'll just have to make do with by backlog of photographs and the dead ones I've been collecting to photograph during my walks with the dog. I have a little box of corpses on my desk (goodness knows what my cleaning lady thinks), many of which I need to identify. Most of them I find at the side of the road, so I assume they've been hit by a passing car. Some are not even dead, and when I get home I find they are very much alive. These I quickly photograph and let go once they can move properly. Others I find floating in puddles. I found a queen ant one morning in the dog's water bowl in the garden. I thought I could detect some movement, so I put her on a tissue and left her for a day, but she was dead.