True Bugs

So Fancy

This fancy looking True Bug is known as a Leaf-Footed Bug.

Like the Spot-Sided Coreid bug in my last post, they are vegetarians who use their built in straw to suck the juices out of plant material.

Also, like the bug, they are usually not found in large numbers, and the damage they do is minimum.

So just sit back and watch them strut around in those fancy pants. Anyone else hearing disco music suddenly?


April 2014, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA

My Hairy Lygus

This little creature is a juvenile Lygus bug. Sorry I don’t know my Lygus bugs well enough to tell them apart. (You can tell it is still a juvenile by the wing nubs. Possibly fourth instar.)

I do know they love my sunflowers. I have seen them on all three varieties. While they have never caused any significant damage to my plants, they can become pests to farmers.

Luckily, there are a number of predators who tend to feed on them while they are still young and juicy. These include parasitic wasps, ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae, crab spiders, and Tachinid flies just to name a few.

So don’t fret. Share a flower or two with the Lygus bugs. The beneficial bugs will be along to help shortly.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon MP 65mm macro, ISO100, 1/60, F13, ring flash, hand held

August 2016, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Helmeted Squash Bug

This spotted beauty is Euthochtha galeator. It is also known as the Helmeted Squash Bug. It is from the family Coreidae or leaf-footed bugs. Which, by the way, don’t all have leafy shaped legs.

I can’t lie, sometimes I do come across arthropods that are considered as pests by farmers and gardeners. But what is a pest to humans, is a feast for other creatures.

Although, these insects do produce a stinky fluid to deter predators, a variety of animals feed on them.
Along with birds, reptiles,and frogs, other arthropods such as mantids, assassin bugs, and spiders eat these crop bugs.

Whether we as humans like it or not, every insect has its place. If we took ourselves out of the equation, these “pests” would be dealt with the way they have been dealt with for millions of years.

Did you note the missing left hind leg? Looks like he had a narrow escape from one of those predators recently!

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro f4, ISO 200, 1/60, F7.1, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

September 2016, Florida, USA

Thread-Legged Assassin

Nice stick insect you say? Look again. This beauty is Emesaya brevipennis – a Thread-Legged Assassin Bug or just Thread-Legged Bug.

As a member of family Reduviidae, this petite little walking stick mimic is quite the hunter. It walks on the middle and rear legs, leaving the front legs free to grasp prey.

Not only do they eat practically any insect they can grab and hang on to, but they will also eat small spiders. In addition, the Thread-Legged Assassin Bug has been known to hang out in spider webs and consume prey caught in the web.

So next time you think you have spotted a tiny stick insect, look closely, those front legs are a clue.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro f4, ISO100, 1/60, F6.3, two Sb200 flash heads, tripod

September 2016, Christmas, Florida, USA

Cotton Stainer

This flashy face belongs to Dysdercus suturellus aka the Cotton Stainer.

This bug is a true omnivore. The Cotton Stainer jabs that substantial rostrum into a variety of plants and plant seeds to suck the juices from deep inside. They are also known for consuming the nectar of flowers.

But in true omnivore fashion, the Cotton Stainer feeds off of other insects as well. With such a varied diet, It is no wonder they are so prolific in southeastern US.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro f4, ISO100, 1/60, F10, two Sb200 flash heads, tripod

September 2016, Florida, USA

Ambush Bug!

What do you do if you come across your favorite insect and the shooting conditions are less than ideal? You shoot and shoot and shoot until you are fairly satisfied you got what you need to make a decent photo.

This spectacular creature you see here is the Ambush Bug. Combine raptor-like arms, an adorably sinister face, and a body shaped like ancient samurai armor, and you get one of the coolest bugs around.

One of my goals while shooting in Florida this summer was to find this particular arthropod. A giant thank you to my husband for spotting it!

And while nicely placed on this flower, the wind gods did their best to thwart my picture taking. I ended up taking over 40 shots here and stacking three of them together to make this photo happen.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200mm micro f4, ISO100, 1/60, F13, two Sb200 flash heads, tripod

September 2016, Florida, USA

Pink Parts

This gorgeous backside belongs to the Spot-sided Coreid (Hypselonotus punctiventris).

Spot-sided Coreid are a True Bug that feed on plant juices.

They have been recorded in many southern U.S. states and south to Belize and Guatemala.

And although they feed on mallow and other various flowering plants, they do not present in numbers great enough to be considered a pest.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

#macro #arthropod #bug #insect #insects #nature #nikon #louisiana #texas #truebug

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 105mm

2014 Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA

Sex Lives of Aphids

Aphids are incredible creatures. They can give birth a number of ways depending on what is happening with their food source.

Here is a quick breakdown. Of course there are many, many species and this reproductive cycle is not universal.

For overwintering purposes, eggs are the preferred method of giving birth. Then, in Spring when food is plentiful, females simply pop out a live clone ready to add to the destruction of your favorite plants. As a food source is becoming used up, the adult females switch to creating babies with wings ensuring the next generations are able to spread out and find additional food. Come Fall, both male and female babies are born. This is useful for actual sexual reproduction, and the subsequent egg production enables survival of Winter so the cycle can begin again.

Thankfully, we have a number of aphid eating beneficial insects ready to take on this aphid horde.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikon D3x, Nikkor 200 mm micro f4, ISO100, 1/250, f4.7, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

May 2016 Courtenay, BC, Canada

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug ( Halyomorpha halys) on Dianthus.

I have only seen a few of these guys in my yard over the last couple of years here in BC. My stink bug niche is mostly filled with (Chinavia hilaris) the Green Stink Bug, or its smaller Lygus cousin.

Although considered a pest, I have not seen anything in my garden that would make me nervous to have these Shield Bugs hanging around.

I am convinced if your garden is in balance, you will not have large pest issues. The problems arise when you don’t diversify your plants/crops. Even farmers are starting to realize this. “Intercropping” – which is a fancy way of saying adding in another type of crop, helps to reduce the concentration of pests and reduces damage.

Think before you spray. It is not necessary to use pesticides if you manage your plants wisely.

Also, if you or anyone you know appreciates the important role of arthropods and would like to get involved on a deeper level and support my photography and conservation efforts, please visit Patreon.com/KarlaThompson
Thanks so much guys!

Nikkon D3x, Nikkor 200 mm micro f4, ISO100, 1/250, f4.8, two diffused SB200 flash heads, tripod

May 2016 Courtenay, BC, Canada