Monday, June 18, 2012

Garden Bugs Up Close

Well, the garden's up and thriving, which means that there will (hopefully) be yummy food in our future. It also means that there's a whole jungle of amazing tiny creatures right outside our door! I've been taking my macro lens out into the garden for the past few days to put it through its paces (and try to learn how to really use it), and I've seen some very cool bugs in the process. Here's a sampling!

Long-legged Flies (family Dolichopodidae) are very common in our garden -- small hunters zooming around and sporting iridescent costumes in green or orange. The hunting must be good here, because so many of these creatures were munching on smaller bugs when I saw them, including this one:

This next Long-legged Fly seems to me to be striking a heroic pose -- off on an adventure, are we? (I admit that I'm probably crazy for thinking this.)

Another winged hunter, this larger Robber Fly (family Asilidae) paused on a sunny rock between flights:

And a small pretty beetle (species unknown) watched me from its mint-leaf platform:

Do you want to see an aphid up close?

We have Flea Beetles on our potato plants, but thankfully not enough to do any serious damage -- they just leave a few tiny pin holes in the leaves and pose for dramatic pictures:

This little Potter Wasp (possibly Parancistrocerus perennis) was inspecting the area:

And a leafhopper (family Cicadellidae) tried to hide behind a stem:

Speaking of leafhoppers, this Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea) was absolutely the fanciest thing around:

I love that we have these gorgeous little creatures here -- they look like they should be somewhere tropical, not in my back yard:

This individual was very patient with me, and eventually I left it in peace in its nice hiding spot beneath the potato buds (where it seemed to practically glow in the shade):

I had to go back to a regular lens to take a picture of this last creature -- a lovely big Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), a type of damselfly, and identifiable as a female because of those white spots on her wings:

I've been seeing one of these creatures in the garden for several days in a row now -- could it be the same individual? Perhaps she's also finding the garden to be a good place to hunt. Such a pretty girl:

I have one more garden bug (well, spider) to share, but she's just too cool and so will need her own post. Stay tuned!


  1. Oh my! Your macro lens sure served you well. Great shots of some really lovely bugs!