Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Identification Can Be a Bear

One of the frustrations of being a mere photographer of insects is that it can be a bit difficult to tell what you've got a picture of. The first shot below looks like a wasp or hornet if one takes a quick glance. However, it's a hover fly mimic. Identifying this insect is a bit easier as flies eyes are up front as opposed to being on the sides of the head. Also their wings sit out away from the body. Wasps wings lay a little closer to the body and are thinner. Bees wings tend to fold over the body.

The next photo is a bit tougher. Mainly because I can't tell if it's a small bee or a small wasp. I'm leaning towards bee. However, it's difficult to tell from wing shape, head size or what the eyes look like.

I supppose I could get an etomology text book and start an insect collection. Maybe even take some classes. I haven't yet because, for the most part, I'm OK with a general idea of what I have a photographed. If I can get it down to the species level, that's great. If not, I know it's a fly. Also, I don't have the heart to gas insects then pin them to a board.


laura k@forestwalkart said...

i know what you seems to take forever to try and ID sometimes...i give up!
i love the first one...whatever he is...bee...wasp...yellow jacket??? GREAT shot!!

VM Sehy Photography said...

Laura - Thank you for the kind comment. I sometimes think I should get a degree in entomology so I know what I'm looking at.

Then I think, well, I'd feel really bad for gassing the little ones, so I give up before I start. I'll see what I'm up to when my son graduates from high school. Maybe I won't be such a softie (or I'll be worse) and I might have more time on my hands.