Canon 300D, handheld
Mamiya 80mm macro w/ extension
Metz 40MZ-3i off-camera
1/80 second at f11

Just hold still a second
giant water scavenger beetle Hydrophilus ovatus

One surprising capture from a nearby pond in NC was this guy, which I believe is a species of giant water scavenger beetles (Hydrophilus ovatus.) Not surprising that it was around, but instead that I managed to scoop it up in some pond weeds, since it remained both hyperactive and very spooky in my aquarium, and if it stopped moving it was all too often while under a rock. For a long time, the routine consisted of me watching the beetle swim anxiously around the tank until it paused in view, then lean in with the camera and start to pin down focus, whereupon the beetle, refreshed from its 2.6 second breather, would resume ripping around the tank again. Eventually I got a few frames of it with acceptable sharpness.

Visible right in mid frame are the fine setae (hairs) and the midlegs that permit it to swim so efficiently – the hindlegs possess them as well. The underside is not actually pale at all, but retains trapped air and thus produces silvery reflections. Also underneath is a very long nasty-looking proboscis, signs of a predatory insect which seems par for the course with many aquatics that I've captured. I was glad to capture the sheen on the chitin showing the texture, and some detail from the eyes.