Tuesday 30 June 2009

Giant Horntail (Urocerus gigas)

Last summer this giant horntail or wood wasp landed on my wooden terrace, and I managed to take some pictures. The giant horntail is really giant, but it is not as frightful as it seems. The long projecting spike, that has given the horntail its name is not used for stinging. The female horntails lay their eggs in trees/wood. The larvae bore into the wood and live in the tree for up to 2 years, possibly more. They typically migrate to just under the bark before pupation. Actually, the ichneumon wasp shown elsewhere may be targeting a larvae of this giant horntail. The latin name Sirex gigas has also been used for this species.

I have made a blog entry in Danish on my Bruunshåb blog telling a little bit more about the images

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Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa)

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Monday 29 June 2009

Common Scorpionfly (Panorpa communis)

Until this spring I had only seen a scorpion fly in a book. I knew they were weird looking. Then I took a photo of a fly with black band on the wing. When I compared the photo with my books, I could see that it was a scorpion fly. Since then I cannnot walk around in my garden without seing scorpion flies. Even when I take a walk in the wood I see lots and lots of scorpion flies.

In the slide show you can see some of them, the male is the one with the scorpion like tail. The strange head reminds me of the "Spy vs. Spy" cartoon in the Mad Magazine.

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Horned Stag Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricus)

I found this Horned Stag Beetle (valsehjort in Danish) in my greenhouse. I succeeded in fetching my camera before it fund the opportunity to fly away. The first photos are from the greenhouse. The rest of the photos are taken in the evening after the beetle had been chilled in the refrigerator and the batteries for the flash had been recharged.

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Friday 5 June 2009

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis)

A couple of these hawk-moths have been visited my garden recently. I have seen them visiting both my dwarf korean lilac (Syringa meyeri) and my Salvia officinalis. They are a little hard to get. I used my Olympus E510 with the 50 mm f2 macro attached, and the FL50 flash.

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