Alas, not this year

Zefrank is back with his Animal Awards (actually I’m not sure this isn’t the first, but he still returned, from wherever he goes when he’s not actively posting videos, and we’re torturing idioms now I believe,) and while I didn’t win the award for “Nature Photographer I Want To Party With,” I have to respect his choice. So without any standup monologue to drag things out (besides this, I mean,) we have the latest vid:

Now, you are on a blog, which means it’s perfectly okay to redirect attention back to the owner – expected, even – and who would I be if I shirked that responsibility? Someone else, most likely, probably someone with a life and much less ego. But while watching that, I not only recognized the peculiar trait of the sharpshooter leafhoppers, I recognized a previous capture that had never been identified.

This ended up taking more than 90 minutes. I wasn’t sure if I’d featured the image on the blog before, but I was fairly certain that it had been prepped for web display at least. Thus I was searching the blog folders as well as the ‘Archive’ folder used for larger versions, and even into the main stock folders when those were coming up empty. Well, certainly not empty, but devoid of the image in question wherever I was looking, anyway. The original image would certainly reside in stock but could still be ridiculously time-consuming, since the Arthropod folders alone contain over 24,000 images, and the one in question wouldn’t be cropped tighter so the subject might be quite small in the frame. It did not help that I was misremembering (old, you know) the approximate time period in which it had been shot. But eventually it was run to ground and is now presented here. All that, for a literally shitty bug:

possible Chrysomelidae larva encased in feces
I know what you’re thinking: “Boy, what kind of weirdo photographs bug shit?” but know that it was moving when I spotted it, so there was reason to believe it was more than bug shit. Asshole.

Anyway, this would appear to be in the Family Chrysomelidae, probably Sub-Family Cryptocephalinae, the case-bearing leaf beetles. It almost appears to be bearing both other arthropods and perhaps eggs, which is possible I guess – the original image at full resolution still isn’t conclusive, and that’s now more time devoted to this singular image. Sheesh.

Meanwhile, the sharpshooter thing was covered some time back, but began long before that when I spotted a leafhopper in the NC Botanical Garden that appeared to have an anti-collision light. No, seriously, the millisecond appearance of the droplet at the hind end was catching more light than I believed possible in the shadowed conditions, and it was flashing. Just a trick of the light, unless some of the plants in the garden are more radioactive than normal. Yes, they have banana plants in there, but no, this wasn’t on any of them – good thinking, though.

time-exposure of broad-headed sharpshooters Oncometopia orbona flinging excrement
Those efforts were almost a decade ago, and I’ve been meaning to tackle them again to see if I could improve on the results, especially given that I can do video now. Unfortunately, even though my motivation is peaked at the moment, the sharpshooters won’t appear for a few months yet. And don’t think you’re clever by suggesting I get some practice in anyway, because I already thought of that, and am knocking down the tea as I type. Be sure to check back!

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