Friday 5: Five Views of a Beetle

In my post about Bug Shot 2012, I mentioned that I took away two things that I suspected would be incredibly useful to me: how to control the brightness of my flash units and how I can improve the sharpness of my photos by keeping my aperture set in the “sweet spot” for my lens.  I have been practicing both of these new skills by photographing lots of things in my white box and I’ve been very happy with the results.  My favorite subject so far was a little snub nosed weevil I found wandering around my house.  It was really active and completely adorable.  These were my five favorite shots:

Side View

Weevil side

Weevil side view

A classic field guide sort of shot!

Looking Shifty

Shifty weevil

Shifty weevil

Okay, okay.  I KNOW I shouldn’t anthropomorphize, especially as I study insect behaviors, but how can you look at that face and not think these things?  You know you did too.  Admit it.

Head On

Weevil head on

I’m coming for you!

It was coming right for me in this shot.  Check out that fantastic antenna on the right!  Wow, those are cool.  I thought this beetle was just a drab little weevil until I started photographing it and noticed all the colors and textures.  It was really quite beautiful!

Gimme a Kiss!

Weevil kiss

Mwah!

From this angle, this little guy looks so happy!  Again, I know it’s not really happy, or at least as we understand happiness (heck, we barely understand happiness in humans!), but how can you not think this beetle looks like it had a big ol’ smile on its face?  It’s like a little crunchy teddy bear!

And finally:

The Butt Shot

Weevil butt

Weevil butt!

This seems like the perfect parting shot!  I honestly have no idea what this beetle other than it’s a weevil of some sort.  Anyone want to help out with an ID?

That’s all I’ve got this week as I’ve been very busy working on grants, upcoming programs, and preparing for this weekend’s big museum event: BugFest!!!  If you live anywhere near Raleigh, you don’t want to miss BugFest.  35,000 people attend each year, so it’s HUGE!  I am so very thrilled I get to be a part of it too.  I’m going to be a runner, so I’ll be darting all over the place most of the day, but I will be at the Prairie Ridge Ecostation table periodically throughout the day.  That’s the best place to look for me if you want to say hi.  BugFest includes activities, lots of hands on bug experiences, booths, vendors, educational materials, talks – pure insect awesomeness!  North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, downtown Raleigh, 9am-7pm Saturday.  Be there if you can! But if you can’t, I’ll tell you all about it on Monday.  :)

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth
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16 responses to “Friday 5: Five Views of a Beetle

  1. I love your captions “Mwah”, “Weevil butt”, so funny! How could you help but anthropomorphize that cute little face!

  2. Lovely macro shots. It does look like a furry bunny weevil – minus ears! beautiful portraits.

  3. I really enjoyed that! Now I’m not going to feel so bad when I think they are trying to tell me something!

    • So glad you liked it! I’m terrible about giving human characteristics to everything. I know better, but really – we’re humans and we relate to the world around us as humans. It’s hard not to!

  4. He does look like a bunny!

  5. Yeah, it looks like it has whiskers on its face, especially in the first two shots.

  6. Excellent shots, Chris! Is that Naupactus?

    • Thanks Alex! I’ve been practicing a fair bit since I got back from BugShot Round II. I looked it up on BugGuide and it certainly looks like Naupactus. Thanks for narrowing down my options! I had no idea where to even start with this beetle. Weevils… There are quite a few choices!

  7. Great pictures! I have been experimenting with using a laser pointer lens with my cell phone camera as an alternative to getting a macro lens for my DSLR camera. Works surprisingly well! I also have grown very fond of weevils- found this cute little red guy in my aquatic invert samples from southwest of the Huachucas (even though hes terrestrial).

    • I love it when I find weird terrestrial things in my aquatic samples! I think it keeps you on your toes and makes you think. I always thought it was a good test of how much I knew when I could look at something strange in a sample and immediately know that it wasn’t aquatic. I hadn’t ever thought about using a laser pointer lens with my phone either, so thanks for the suggestion! One of my hobbies is iPhoneography and I spend a fair amount of time fiddling around with my cell trying to figure out the best way to take photos with it. Your solution is intriguing.

      And hooray for collecting aquatic inverts in AZ! I checked out your blog and was very happy to see that you’re working on invasive bullfrogs and their impacts on inverts there. Very cool! I know I’m going to miss working in Arizona, though I might see if I can’t work in some research time there during the monsoon so that I have a chance to go back to work sometime.

  8. It’s definitely been fun figuring out whats aquatic and whats not! Trickier than I thought, especially with the beetles. The laser lens is a cheap option and has been working well for really small inverts like mites and small beetle larvae because the only way to focus with the lens on is to move the phone closer. I just used sticky tack stuff to secure it to my phone when I need it.

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I have been really enjoying yours, especially the galleries. Thought I would reach out to a fellow invert lover, especially since you worked in AZ too!

    • I JUST moved away from AZ after having lived there a total of 20 years. I know I’m going to miss it, so I’m glad to hear that someone else is working in my favorite state in my favorite aquatic habitats!

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