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So, it has been a while since I talked about my photography but today I wanted to showcase one of my favorite subjects to capture.
One of the most groups of animals I found fascinating are insects and of course arachnids. Not only are they the most diverse and biggest (in terms of population) groups of animals. Vertebrates, on the other hand, represent a small fraction of life on Earth.
They came in a variety of forms and feeding habits. Despite being the most misunderstood of animals, they an extremely important role in our ecosystem, as pollinators, in decomposition, and even population control of other invertebrates.
And since they are everywhere, you don´t need to go long distances to see them. You can even see them in an urban setting if you pay enough attention...
A short disclaimer: if you have any phobias about this subject matter, I don´t recommend scrolling further.
So here are some of the ones I caught over the years, some I may have already posted, but I wanted to make an article showcasing them all:
The cross spider Araneus diadematus, is a variety of garden orb spider. It was called because of the beautiful cross pattern on it´s back. They can be mostly found in Western Europe as well some parts of the US and can prefer places like wood areas, gardens among others. And typically the females are the ones who make webs.
As you can see in this photo, I suspect this is a female due to its size and shape. Males are smaller. And what luck, she was in the middle of feeding on a wasp when I found her.
Dragonflies are known for being one of the best fliers in the insect world and belong to the Odonata order. Not only do they have the capacity for flying in different directions thanks to the structure of the wings, but they are also really fast. Having sharp eyesight with their compound eyes also helps. Which makes them the hardest subject to capture. This one was standing still, so I wasted no time.
They have both a water nymph stage and an adult flight stage. The best place to find them is near water, like river streams, even garden ponds.
The pill bug, rollie-polly, woodlice, potato bugs, or whatever you like to call them contrary to common knowledge. They are not insects, classified as Isopods, this group is an order of crustaceans. Both can be found in the ocean, fresh water and on land. With the marine ones known to grow to gigantic sizes! Land dwellings ones however are can´t get that big.
This one I saw is a called a common-pill bug Armadillidium vulgare, which is a very common species. They are known to roll up in a ball to protect themselves. A lot of people find them cute because of this. They feed on decaying plant matter, old wood, algae, and lichens. You can keep them as pets, and they are very easy to maintain.
This little guy was actually outside my door, the white wall was an ideal background to accentuate its dark color.
This photo is really old, so forgive the quality. What you see here is a Palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. Unlike my previous entries, this is not a native species to Europe, but an invasive one. It was brought here through the exportation of Palms trees, and it´s considered a pest since it can cause a lot of devastation. This is a shame, since I found its bright red color and long snot attractive. They usually lay their eggs in the bark, and then the larva burrows and start eating away the wood.
They originate from tropical Asia, I´ve read the larvae are considered quite a delicacy in Vietnam and other countries. Hey, I´m not judging, it´s not that different from us westerners being into shrimp, which looks like bugs if you think about it.
Funny enough, I did not need to even go out to find it. It was by my window. Someone left a glass of leftover coconut water, which was probably attracted it. It flew before I could grab it.
I´m still not sure of the species, but it could be the Capricon Beetle Cerambyx cerdo a type of long-horned beetle which belongs to the Cerambycidae family. Their larvae are known to burrow in wood. It is widespread in several countries in Europe, and also in some areas in North Africa like Algeria and Tunisia. Long-horns are known for their long antenna and elongated bodies and can come in a variety of colors.
Some can consider pests for being know to attack wood structures on homes, while others such as this individual in the photo, are considered vulnerable and require conservation efforts.
So, I hope you all enjoy my photos and learn a little bit more about this group of animals. As someone who is environmentally conscious, I realize the importance of educating people especially when it comes to species that are misunderstood. And I try to help in any way possible, even in small actions such as writing articles like this one.
I plan on writing a follow up on this and share the rest of my bug portfolio. Stay tuned for future updates.
Thanks for reading, if you like my content you can also follow me through Cointr.ee