Wednesday, 20 May 2015


As you will have noticed from my last post I’ve been trying out a new way (for me) of photographing bugs. When I’ve been out walking and spotted any bugs, instead of photographing them ‘in situ’, I’ve captured a few in pots and brought them home to photograph on a plain white background. I’ve still not perfected the technique but I think it does help to show up more of the intricate details and colours that you would not necessarily see in a ‘standard’ photograph…..I’ll be interested to read your thoughts and comments!

Bug 1 Brass bug

Crucifer Shield Bug / Brassica Bug  (Eurydema oleracea)  At 7mm long x 4mm wide this widespread and fairly common little bug is found in a wide variety of habitats and as it’s name suggests is mostly associated with, where it feeds on the flowers and is classed as a pest, cruciferous plants such as cabbage, radish, turnip, oil seed rape and nasturtiums as well as wild cruciferous plants. It comes in a number of colour with white spots is the most common form but the spots can also be yellow (young adult)…..

…or red.
Bug 2 Brass bug

Bug 3 Mint Go

Green Dock Beetle (Gastrophysia viridula) This 4mm-6mm long green beetle often has a golden or bluish sheen. It is commonly found on the leaves of the Dock plant, the larval food plant, from May to June throughout the UK. The female's body becomes very swollen when filled with the bright orange eggs which she lays in clusters on the underside of the Dock leaves …
…a greener one!
Bug 4 Mint Gr

Bug 5 Soldier

Soldier Beetle (Cantharis livida) At 10mm to 15mm long this is one of the more commonly seen Soldier Beetles of the 40 or so species found in the UK. In the summer months they can be found, sometimes in large numbers, on thistles and umbelliferous flowers.

Bug 6 Soldier

Bug 7 Scent

Scentless Plant Bug (Rhopalus subrufus) This 7mm long close relative of Squash Bugs is widely found in woodland clearings and low scrubby areas in the southern parts of the UK where it is associated with a great variety of plants but tends to favour St. Johns-wort (Hypericum perforatum).

Bug 8 Thick Leg

Thick-Legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) This 10mm long beetle is found in most habitats throughout the UK but is more abundant in the southern parts. It feeds on the flower pollen from April to September.  It’s the male only that has the swollen thighs from where it gets some of it’s other descriptive names such as..Fat Legged Beetle and Swollen Thighed Beetle.

Bug 9 Thick Leg

Bug 10 Rasp B

Raspberry Beetle (Byturus tomentosus)  Part of the fruitworm family this 4mm long beetle is classed as a pest in most parts of Northern Europe where it lays it’s eggs in the flowers of both wild and cultivated raspberry, loganberry and blackberry plants, the resulting larvae then feed on and destroy the developing fruit.

Take off…

Bug 11 Rasp B

Bug 12 Net W

Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) This 9mm long beetle is covered in metallic green scales however, these are easily rubbed off as the beetle gets older leaving it with a black appearance. Notice the large ‘tooth’ on the front femurs. Found from April to June, as it’s name suggests, on nettles throughout most of the UK except in Scotland where it is scarce.
Another flier!..

Bug 13 Net W  

NB…After photographing them all the bugs were returned to the area where I found them and released…except the Raspberry Beetle which somehow disappeared!!


ADRIAN said...

These are excellent.
The lack of shadow on the background is impressive.
I wish i could see them flying, well I can but can't manage a picture.
It's good to see another nutter at work.

The Herald said...

Thanks Adrian.
Yeh, I'm quite pleased with these but feel that there's still room for improvement!
Those flight shots involved a lot of luck, it's surprising how fast they take off...lots of 'white only' images.
I guess it keeps us off the streets!...[;o)

douglas mcfarlane said...

I can see why you've gone for a white backdrop. It does give better detail and less distraction. However I must confess I prefer seeing a habitat it's a strictly personal thing.I do like the last two images, the critter has fascinated me since seeing it on Adrian's blog. Great images all round

The Herald said...

Douglas, it's something I've been wanting to have a go at since I saw a TV program a year or so ago where a guy was photographing small animals in a rainforest somewhere. (Of course his photos were much better than mine the detail he got was amazing!)

This is just something that I wanted to try but I'll still be taking the 'habitat' shots.

Yeh, those Weevils are interesting little creatures, I still can't find out why they have that tooth/claw on their legs though...[;o)

Margaret Adamson said...

Trevor I think you are negecting the birds for the bugs now!! These shots are all great and certainly we can see the detail and I like the way you have framed them however like Douglas I prefer to see them in their habitat. For me becuase they are on a whote background, it is too stark. Have you tried a different colour of background to see hwat they look like? I know you have gone into a rouble to great deal of trouble with these bugs to ge the best shots so this comment is ONLY my opinion.

holdingmoments said...

Top rate shots Trev, and great detail.
Perfect shots for an ID book in my opinion. I'm with Doug though; my preference would be in a natural setting, but that's only 'cause I'm far too lazy to put the effort you and Adrian do into getting shots like these.

Got an idea.
Why not do a post on the Lily Beetle?
See how many you can get in one shot.
I think I've got some on my Lilies in the garden, feel free to take them and photograph them, and no need to return them after. :-)

The Herald said...

Margaret, I've not neglected the birds..the thing (problem?)is is that I'm interested in ALL things 'nature' and like to explore and take photos of it all! This was an idea/project I thought of some time ago and now I've eventually gotten around to giving it a go. The beauty and intricacy of the bugs just amazes me.
Don't worry I'll still be taking photos of them (and everything else!!) in their natural habitat...[;o)

Thanks Keith. Hmmm!...don't know if I could find the time to do a book??
I agree things look good in their proper setting...this was just something I wanted to have a go at.

I'm sure those Lily Beetles much prefer being in your garden?...[;o)

Roy Norris said...

Textbook images as always Trevor.
And, I mean Textbook as I am sure someone writing a book the subject would like these images to use.

The Herald said...

Thanks Roy. don't fancy writing a book?...[;o)

Roy Norris said...

Um!, No I know B..... all about insects.{:)) Im still struggling with flowers as you know.{:))