I am going to try not to bore you with endless photos I’ve taken with my new camera, but I feel like I want to share a few more this week. I also don’t have a lot of time to get this blog post up, so it’s going to be photo heavy and text light tonight. Sometimes that’s just the way life works – I have to work tomorrow!
A friend of mine recently asked about the macro twin light flash that I got for my new camera rig to see how I liked it. It was just after I’d returned from California and I hadn’t actually had a chance to use it yet, but a request for information like that is the perfect excuse to practice with the new gear! So, I switched on my porch light, waited a few hours, and headed out to snap a few photos. I have white siding on my house, which provides this sort of white box-like effect that I enjoyed very much. Here are a few of my favorites!
Click beetles are fabulous beetles! I’ve written about them before, so I’m not going to go into much detail here, but this was one of the smaller click beetles I’ve seen. I thought it was rather cute!
I’ll eventually get to attempting to ID this one (I haven’t ever claimed to be great at sight identification of terrestrial insects!), but for now I’m just calling it a bug because it’s a true bug. Want to know what makes an insect a bug? I’ve got a post for that!
Another unidentified bug! Check out those crazy antennae. Wow. This is a beautiful bug, and I might not have noticed it at all if I hadn’t photographed it. It was rather small and the details weren’t obvious to the naked eye.
Two Lined Spittlebug
These bugs are crazy common in Raleigh! I see them everywhere in the summer. I even had one hitch a ride into my house on my shirt the other day. They’re awfully pretty, for bugs that spend part of their lives hiding in a foam that looks a whole lot like a bubbly loogie.
This beetle was hiding under the decorative trim around the front door. There’s something about insects shot from this perspective, with the insect clinging to a substrate and peering at you from behind it, that I just love. I know I shouldn’t anthropomorphize like this (bad Dragonfly Woman!), but they just look so friendly! This beetle would likely be called a June bug by the people of the Midwest (and a few other regions of the US), one of the common brown scarabs you see so many of during the summer.
The trip out to my porch light confirmed two things for me. First, there is a shocking diversity of insects that come to my regular old compact fluorescent bulb-lit porch! I hadn’t actually spent much time photographing the insects out there since we moved into the house almost a year ago, but it’s pretty impressive. Plus, it’s high time I start scaring the neighbors by lurking around my front door and bushes with a camera late at night! Second, I am very fond of the Canon twin light flash. I diffused both flashes with a piece of frosted mylar that I got at the last BugShot I attended, and that was all it took to produce some lovely light that filled in the shadows produced by the porch light nicely.
And with that, I think I might head out to snap a few more photos before I go to sleep!
10 thoughts on “Friday 5: Insects on My House”
I think your “a bug” might be an Alydid. Nice shots!
That was how I was leaning, but I haven’t really compared my photo to anything else yet. As usual, I didn’t collect the bug itself and just got a few photos, so I’m lacking some details that would help in actually keying the little bugger… Glad you like the photos though!
Great shots! When you get a chance, could you post a shot of what kind of flash rig you’re using? I read your description but can’t get envision it (use your cell phone – it doesn’t have to be great).
I agree that the beetle peeking out from the door frame is the greatest. I have to try going out there after dark (and leaving on the porch light) and see what I get!
Ooh, you’ll get great things at porch lights! Definitely give it a try.
Do you follow me on Facebook? (Can’t remember…) I’ll snap a pic of my camera rig and post it there for you in the next few days.
I went ahead and “liked” you on Facebook, but I’m not out there very often. I’ll try to remember to check again later in the week.
Ah, well in that case I’ll send you a link to a photo of Alex Wild with his setup that I have up on Flickr. My camera setup is nearly identical to his, so it will give you a good idea of what I’m using:
The only difference between what you see in the photo and my setup is I have my mylar wrapped around my flashes and secured with masking tape while Alex built a rig from a milk jug or some such to hold his in place. Hope this helps!
Re. your referenced older post: “All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs”, I think that most people don’t realize that “bug” is used as a scientific term – I didn’t until I came across a section called “True Bugs” in an insect guide. (Most scientific terms for insects seem to be at least 11 syllables and spread over 3 lines of the page!). Maybe the early entomologists are to blame for hijacking a common term (probable etymology: “something frightening”) and are still paying the price decades later. Very informative post, BTW.
Thanks! Glad you liked it. And the fact that so few people know that “bug” means something specific to scientists is exactly why I posted that in the first place. I don’t usually mind when people use bug incorrectly, but I do feel the need to educate people about the proper useage from time to time. I get a lot of questions about it too, people using the word bug as a synonym of insect that apologize for using it and asking what the correct word is. It makes for a great opening for the bug vs. insect lesson!
I used your picture of “A bug” to identify a few I found at our house. An entomologist from the Auburn University Extension Service identified it as a dirt colored seed bug, Rhyparochromidae.
Excellent! Thanks for sharing the ID with me!