Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pennsylvania Ambush bug - Phymata sp.

Ambush bug, originally uploaded by imarsman.

Another use of bright and strong colour, though not as successful as with the Long-horned bees. I think this one doesn't work as well because the balance of bright and dark tends here too much to the bright. 

Ambush bugs are very tricky to photograph, both because they are very very well camouflaged and because it's tricky, when photographing them, to know when you are in focus. I think this is because the eyes, which I normally use as my focal point, are soft and flat in colour, unlike the rest of their body, which is angular and rough and stippled. This photograph worked out well enough because I was able to get good focus on the head and shoulders and because the pale green of the bug contrasts with the orange-yellow of the flower. I made it a bit cooler to bring out the green.

If I ever went into entomology I might enjoy studying exactly how insects go about making themselves more difficult to see, beyond the obvious colour camouflage and not moving. I think it may turn out that some new ways are still to be found whereby insects take advantage of how the visual system of an observer works to make it more difficult to get a visual 'lock'.