Belostoma sp. water bug, Illinois I'm so used to taking photos of fast-moving ants and beetles that a sedentary insect comes as something of a relief.  Instead, the challenge with this Belostoma giant water bug was lighting the shot. Aquariums are prone to reflections and dust on the glass.  I arranged a diffused flash above the tank, positioned behind the glass so as not to leave a reflection by illuminating the camera. Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/200 sec, diffused overhead flash
Crypticerya bursera Unruh 2008 Baja California Cory Unruh describes a new species of scale insect in the genus Crypticerya in this week's Zootaxa. The diagram above shows a highly stylized version of the back (at left) and underbelly (at right) of the insect, with peripheral illustrations of the various pores, appendages and hairs. Scale insects have such an unusual morphology that the people who work on them have had to create a unique system for keeping track of their various characters. Most entomologists- myself included- require additional training to make sense of it. Like all scale…
For your viewing pleasure I've set up a new Hemiptera gallery at www.alexanderwild.com. Hemiptera are the "True Bugs", a large order of insects defined by having the mouthparts modified into a hollow beak. You can visit the gallery here: Bountiful Bugs Photo Gallery! I admit being a little embarrassed at how few photographs I have of true bugs. They are a stunningly diverse order of insects, with a great many attractive species, and are extremely important both economically and ecologically.