Sunday, 18 July 2010

Macro Monday - Messy

Believe it or not, this post is not about me. Yes, we all know that I am lazy and OK, I can be a little messy too (except for the insides of my cupboards, but we don't need to talk about that now, do we?). But today's messy macro subject is this little guy here:


This is a flower longhorn, a beetle belonging to the family Cerambycidae. It is known as a longhorn due to its extremely long antennae - duh - but it is also known as a round headed borer, due to the larval form that spends its time chomping away through the wood of trees, leaving lovely, perfectly round tunnels.



I am not sure exactly what species of longhorn this is - there are over 20,000 described species you know, and although I am an entomologist, I am apparently not a very good one. So, I don't know if this little guy was the downfall of some beautiful tree nearby or merely helping in the process of breaking down the wood of a tree that is already dead. Some longhorn species can be quite serious pests, killing trees or damaging untreated lumber, but most are quite harmless and even beneficial. You can see that this one is absolutely covered in pollen and as he moves from one shasta daisy to the next, he will be transferring that pollen and ensuring the next generation of delightful flowers that I can then photograph and share with you.


Now, my contractor, who is supposed to be renovating my house, but is MIA at the moment - something about kids and holidays - claims to have been bitten by one of these guys. Far be it for me to suggest that he might be lying, but really, these guys are highly unlikely to cause any damage to human flesh, they just like wood, and pollen and nectar. You can see this one chowing down on the pollen from this flower here, quite happy to let me photograph him without a trip to the fridge first.

 


FYI - I myself might be MIA for the next couple of weeks, for I am off in search of something hairy and scary. No, we are not talking about my legs - I am going to deal with them tonight - but of something much larger, if not as scary - grizzly bears in Alaska. So, I might be starting a Telephoto Tuesday when I get back.........

27 comments:

bettyl said...

What a cute little thing! Great macro shots!

awarewriter said...

Great series and commentary. Perhaps your contractor has a wooden leg.

tammymcchesney said...

Incredible images...wow, I feel like I could put my hand out and he would crawl onto me...so realistic!

Cortes said...

I am always pleasantly surprised by your ability to capture unusual subjects. And you do it so well. I think these photos are fabulous.

Kala said...

Aww, what a cute bug!

Colleen said...

Incredible photos!
I think the grizzlies definitely need a telephoto instead of a macro lens. Have fun on your trip!

michael said...

That is a scary looking but. Thanks for the nice photos. Hope you have good weather and good photos in Alaska.

Christina, sweden said...

Great shots, the second one looks as it is in a photostudio posing for you :-)

Jay said...

Awwww! I love your messy little guy! And look, no matter what he eats, we all have to live, right?

I suspect your contractor sees a black beetle and thinks they're all the same. I further suspect he may have been nipped by a ground beetle. Some of ours will do so if you handle them roughly, but I doubt they'd be able to get through the skin.

mrsnesbitt said...

Contractors seem to be a universal breed don't you think? We had a very similar species here! lol!

Carolina said...

Ooo, that sounds exciting! The hairy scary bears I mean.
Great shots of this longhorned beetle, looking quite elegant actually.
I'd love to see some macro-shots of bear-teeth ;-) Be careful!

Birgitta "foto CHIP" said...

What a funny little creature :) and your photos are excellent - I enjoy them every single one :)

http://foto.rudenius.se

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Amazing....but, seeing all the pollen on its face makes me itch and want to sneeze. LOL

Here's an invitation to visit CRYSTAL for Macro Monday. Hope to see you stop by sometime.

Janis said...

Scary looking yet cute at the same time. Great shots. Telephoto tuesday sounds interesting...have a great trip

Christina said...

Fantastic macro shots!

Maaike said...

wow really fantastic

lisaschaos said...

He is awesome! I love all the pollen he has on him!!!

Lesa said...

just amazing! Love the messy pollen face! When you said hunt for hairy and scary, I thought you were going to say Bigfoot!

廖珮秋廖珮秋 said...

來看你囉~加油~~!!............................................................

Don't Bug Me! said...

Betty: Thanks!

Awarewriter: I did ask him - he says no.

Tammy: He probably would too - he didn't seem to mind where he went.

Cortes: As always - thank you.

Kala: Cute indeed.

Colleen: Indeed - I don't think I want to be so close that I need my macro.

Michael: Hopefully it won't rain too much, but just in case I bought a little raincoat for my camera today.

Mrs. N.: He is very nice though....

Carolina: You might like to see them, but I am not sure that I want to take them. Actually, now that I think about it, I actually already have some photos of bear teeth and claws from a bear trapping expedition a few years back....... no really, I do.

Birgitta: Why, thank you.

Hootin: Luckily, I don't suffer from allergies. I assume he doesn't either.

Janis: Don't get too excited about the telephoto Tuesday - it might never happen. We shall see....

Christina: Thank you!

Maaike: Again, thank you.

Lisa: I wonder if it bothers him?

Lesa: Actually, my feet are pretty small.

王美妹 said...

初次造訪,感謝你的分享.................................................................

Baino said...

Bon Voyage and step on lines not squares then you won't get eaten by bears. Or is that squares not lines . . .anyway have a great time.

Katherine said...

Why, in my imagination, do I see dangling empty little arms and a wee hood on that little raincoat for your camera...?
Looking forward to the bear pics!

俊成俊成 said...

大肚能容,了卻人間多少事,滿腔歡喜,笑開天下古今愁。..................................................

陳晏李秀樺雄 said...

It is easier to get than to keep it.......................................................................

家唐銘 said...

一句話,那就是,"船到橋頭自然直."............................................................

JAZEVOX said...

om my gosh, what a messy bug, with pollen attached every tiny micro inches of her body. great info, fun read too. jazevox