Insects, large & small

And now, a parable from my recent Australia trip.

One morning, in the forests of Cape Tribulation, I happened across a lovely stag beetle. I took it back to the cabin where I’d set up an insect mini-studio. My photography session did not go smoothly, however. The set was persistently interrupted by pesky Tapinoma melanocephalum ghost ants. These little insects occur nearly everywhere in the tropics, thriving in indoor environments. Characteristically, they were getting their little tarsi into everything, including my beetle photos:

insects, large and small

The above photo was accidental. Yet it is my favorite from the session, far more interesting than any of the lone beetle shots. A lovely illustration of insect size differences, and one that should prove useful in the classroom.

Accidental photographs can contain gems. Had I deleted all my unplanned images in-camera, this shot would have slipped away.

9 thoughts on “Insects, large & small”

  1. Nice stag! Theyre gorgeous. In forty years of amateur collecting I am still amazed by the diversity of insects, and the incredible relationships which have evolved seem endless.

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  5. I’ve learned not to delete anything in the camera, but rather wait until I see them on a large computer screen.

    This photo only works because you got the focus right on the ant and the tips of the beetle’s mandibles.

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