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.........