Humble things

I had great difficulty identifying these first two insects, but I’ve narrowed them down to some type of Long-legged Fly (Family – Dolichopodidae) and the Twin-spotted Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus jamaicensis). Both photos were taken at the end of June, so that’s about 2 months of searching BugGuide, databases and books. I know, perhaps too long and do I have anything else to do! This fly was perhaps 3mm long and darted about a lot, but always came back to the same spot. They eat other, even smaller, insects as you can see.

The hindwings of this Sphinx Moth are quite colourful, but not visible in these shots.

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” – Louisa May Alcott

Genus - Datana, July 22/11

I’d never seen a moth like this Datana (Genus) before, who hung out with us beside a lake north of Gananoque. At first glance I thought it was a curled up leaf. I’m sure there are eyes in there somewhere! BugGuide.Net says that the fuzzy “head” is actually the upper thorax of the moth.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about moths, there’s a contest going on over at Seabrooke Leckie’s site, with a chance to win a signed copy of the upcoming Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America, by David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie. You can view the details at her blog here. The contest closes this Thursday, the 25th of August. Clearly I need that book!



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22 Responses to “Humble things”
  1. Montucky says:

    That’s an incredibly good macro of the fly! You made it a star!

    We had a visit from a moth that looked a lot like the Sphinx Moth a couple of summers ago. They are beautiful, aren’t they!

    The other moth, well, I’ve never seen anything like that! Very cool!

  2. Meanderer says:

    Wow! Wonderful photos with such fantastic detail. The iridescent fly is very beautiful – and what excellent camouflage the Datana moth has.

  3. sandy says:

    No help here, but what great shots!

  4. Donald says:

    all i can say is “wow”! great shots!

  5. That is one cool iridescent fly! Awesome detail. By the way, I love the theme here. In my humble opinion, it’s so true that these beautiful little creatures can bring about a smile and make our day brighter. Your photos just did! 🙂

  6. missusk76 says:

    Very nice macros! I can’t get over the iridescence you have captured in the first image. Beautiful!

  7. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Heck, after two months of researching, you DESERVE that book!
    And I absolutely love your iridescent fly: unbelievable detail! As a matter of fact; I’m on my phone right now, but I think you also captured his meal in the shot? Wow!
    “Duh!” on me, eh? Just read your caption. But still, wow! Gotta go to the big screen to do them justice… “See” ya! (Oh, and good luck with that Peterson’s book; )

  8. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Amazing sharply detailed shot of the fly eating his lunch! I’m sure a curled up leaf is exactly what the Datana moth wanted you to think it was. 🙂 Thank you for another marvelous glimpse into a tiny world, Cait…

  9. It’s easy to overlook such humble creatures- grats for bringing them to us 🙂

  10. nellie says:

    Your curled-leaf moth (better name) is something I have never seen before or else I’ve seen it and didn’t recognize it as a moth. I always have trouble identifying bugs.

  11. Incredible photos, Cait! I especially like the fly. The detail, color, sharpness, and the insect snack make this photo outstanding! I’m also fascinated with the moth photos – so unusual.

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