Wildwater.tv's Blog

Video and Scientific Photography

Posts Tagged ‘zeiss luminar’

Greenfly giving birth

Posted by wildwatertv on June 15, 2010

Now this is a touching and tender scene for anyone who isn’t a gardener.  It’s a greenfly giving birth to one of many daughters on a rosebud. Within ten minutes there were several of these little beasts running around their mother.  She, meanwhile, just sat there eating throughout.  Taken using a zeiss luminar 25mm lens with the usual flash arrangement which picks up the colours being diffracted by the wings.  When I last looked, mother and daughter were doing well….


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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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Bryony tendril

Posted by wildwatertv on May 12, 2010

This fscinating thing is one of those little green tendrils that plants extend looking for things to hold on to.  They are tightly coiled and extremely highly developed.  This one is from a white bryony plant, and the coils are so evenly spaced they seem to be man-made.  Nature had the curly telephone line long before we did.

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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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Nigella seed

Posted by wildwatertv on January 22, 2010

This shows two different magnifications of a single seed, genus Nigella, known as love-in-a-mist.  The seeds are sometimes used in Indian cookery as a spice, and are individually about 1mm long.  they have the most extraordinary texture and a surface almost like crocodile skin. I’m working on a catalogue of microscopic images of seeds and this is so far the most beautiful one I’ve seen.  Zeiss Luminar, light microscope, Nikon 10x/2.5x Objective/photo-eyepiece.

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Lyniphid spider in web

Posted by wildwatertv on November 3, 2009


This is a Lyniphid spider.  They are often called money spiders and live under a sort of carpet of web rather than on a classic orb.  It looks upside down because it is, almost permanently.  Those huge jaws grab the prey from below when it falls onto the web carpet.  there are many different species of Lyniphia, so this is a difficult one to identify clearly.  They are all small and fast.  Photographed using flash at about 6x magnification with a Nikon D300 and Zeiss Luminar.  All spiders are miracles of evolution and each is perfectly adapted to its own style of hunting.  The eyes in this genus are not well developed because they use the vibrations in the web to locate their prey.

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The pen is mightier than the sword

Posted by wildwatertv on October 23, 2009



Slightly more prosaic subject matter, but ballpoint pens are really a miracle of engineering.  When you use them they pick up small pieces of paper and fibres.  These eventually go inside the ball and clog up the mechanism, but considering the balls are far less than a millimetre in diameter it’s amazing they work so often.  I’ve spent all morning seeing the differences between brands and they vary enormously.  Lighting them is also a challenge.

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The face of a wasp

Posted by wildwatertv on October 16, 2009


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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Bees have hairy eyes

Posted by wildwatertv on October 14, 2009



It’s clear that when you look at a bee that it’s a hairy sort of animal, but close up photography reveals a strange fact.  The eyes are covered with hairs too.  This might be to protect them from pollen, or for some other purpose.  These two specimens were feeding on ivy flowers, which produce a sort of sticky substance insects find irresistible.

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Jumping Spider 2

Posted by wildwatertv on September 30, 2009


Thought I’d post another angle of this lovely beast.  Here you can see that it, like most parents, has eyes in the back of its head.  Looks more like a fighter bomber than an animal at all.

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