Wildwater.tv's Blog

Video and Scientific Photography

Posts Tagged ‘compound eyes’

Hover fly or syrphid fly portrait

Posted by wildwatertv on September 3, 2010

Extreme close up of the head of the syrphid or hover fly, Eupeodes luniger, showing the structure of the compound eyes.  My interest in these creatures seems to be growing, and I’m still struggling to get the absolute maximum detail available with transmitted light. The more I see of insects, the more I admire them. Stacked using 110 images taken with a Nikon 10x DIC objective using flash. Nikon D300. Modified Lomo microscope with a short tube.

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House Fly’s mouth

Posted by wildwatertv on June 8, 2010

This creature is the common house fly, musca domestica. When you see them sitting on a piece of bread they are using that fearsome mouth to scrape and suck food from the bread, cheese, or anything else they might like…  It excretes a sort of liquid enzyme which digests the food on the surface before sucking the pre-digested liquid up though the tube.  These mouth-parts are always a bit grubby.  Pays to keep them off your food in the first place.  Now I’ve seen one up close I think I’ll be more careful.

Taken through a light microscope with a Nikon x10DIC .25 objective and stacked using a stack of thirty-four images.

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More eyes

Posted by wildwatertv on June 3, 2010


Sometimes you take a picture which makes you want to throw everything else you’ve ever done away and just simply admire the majesty of nature.  I’ve posted a blow-up of the central portion of this picture to show the perfection that exists on such a small scale.  Taken through a light microscope using a Nikon DI 10x objective and using a stack of fifty images, this is a different sort of hoverfly to the one below.  This one is called Eupeodes corollae.  One of the most common flies in the garden this time of year.  Wonderful creature!

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Hover Fly eyes

Posted by wildwatertv on May 28, 2010

This beast is the common hoverfly, Melascaeava cinctella.  It has excellent vision, and extremely well developed compound eyes.  This photograph also shows the three small simple eyes, or ocelli, arranged in a triangle between the two enormous compound eyes.  Photographic image stack using a Zeiss Luminar 25mm on a standard light microscope.

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Female flower bee in flight

Posted by wildwatertv on April 29, 2010

This is another hairy footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes).  There are lots around at the moment, but they disappear by the end of May.  This high speed photograph shows the opening of the sheath around the long tongue as the bee approaches a pulmonaria flower.   This sheath gets folded back as the bee feeds and then it snaps shut again before moving on to the next flower.  The male is shown in an earlier post, but this is the female, with pollen baskets on her hind legs.  Many of these are living in holes in the wall of our cottage.

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Shield bug

Posted by wildwatertv on April 20, 2010

This fantastic creature is a Green shieldbug (Palomina Prasina), Order Hemiptera sub order Heteroptera Family Acanthosomidae. They have long sucking mouthparts but they also have a gland in their thorax between the first and second pair of legs which secretes a foul smelling liquid.  This gives them their other common name, stink bugs.

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Hairy footed flower bee

Posted by wildwatertv on April 14, 2010

I spent ages last week setting up the equipment to do high speed photography on bees in flight.  Finally, I got this one to play and it took its own picture.  It looked a little odd when it came to identifying it.  I first thought it was a bee-fly, but on further investigation it IS a bee called the hairy footed flower bee, or to give it its scientific name, Anthophora plumipes. They have very long tongues, which can get to the nectaries of pulmonaria.  They are hole dwellers and our house has holes made by mason bees in which they probably live.  the females are all black, but this is the male.  They are among the earliest of bees, and only fly until about May.

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Compound Eyes 3

Posted by wildwatertv on November 18, 2009

This is the closest I’ve got so far to anything.  Taken through a Swift Microscope with a Swift 10x objective and Nikon 2.5x Photo eyepiece, this is the same eye as in the post below but this time it’s plain that the structure of a wasp’s eye is made up of hexagonal elements.  the hexagons are not perfect, but the shape of the eye determines the shape they can be at any one point.  Lighting was achieved by the use of a tracing paper diffuser held around the objective with a rubber band and encircling the head of the wasp.  I’ve finally nearly got rid of chromatic aberrations at this magnification.

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Compound eyes 2

Posted by wildwatertv on November 9, 2009

waspeyeblog

This is the eye of a wasp.  Unlike bees they have clean compound eyes, very highly developed.  The structure is a honeycomb of hexagonal elements, which combine to form a rudimentary image.  They eyes cannot focus like human eyes, but they can see in most directions at the same time, which gives the insect a clear warning when anything approaches. Taken through a Swift Microscope with a 4x objective.

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The face of a wasp

Posted by wildwatertv on October 16, 2009

blogwasp

This is a familiar summer face, the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris)  again on ivy.  This photograph shows the complex mouth-parts of the wasp.  These are almost like a plane or a spokeshave enclosed in powerful jaws and are used not only for feeding, but for scraping and chewing wood to form the paper used in nest-building.  Although they are a nuisance, wasps have a beauty all of their own.

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