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Porcupine Fly

Porcupine Fly
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-05-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-06-20 4:31
Viewed: 4907
Points: 130
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hedgehog Fly / Dejeania bombylans

Gotha! Ha-Ha! Did you really think a porcupine fly existed? Looking at this fly with its spiky bristles, you can easily see why I choose to call it "Porcupine Fly". Actually it is called a "Hedgehog Fly". Please also see the image in the workshop.

I don't think I'm wrong when I say that most of us probably dislike flies, for very obvious reasons, and as I mentioned in my previous notes with the "Tormentor/Flesh fly" and "Is a fly just a fly/Blow fly" postings in my gallery, I always thought a fly is just a fly. (Loot says, "A dead fly is the best fly".) However, that was before I started taking photos myself. Soon I changed my mind as I discovered that there is much more to a fly than meets the casual eye. I am sure you will agree with me on that statement, when looking at this fly with its very distinct features.

As far as I know this is only the 2nd time this fly features on Trek Nature. The 1st time it was posted by Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) in November 2004.

Photography has changed my life completely. I don't think even while being at school, I found Biology as interesting as I find it now-a-days. I find the most interesting creatures in the garden. Sometimes the features of these tiny animals are absolutely amusing, sometimes strange and sometimes even mind boggling, and one wonder how they live in that teeny, weenie bodies. That is when the interesting part starts as to when you have to read up and research to find the answers.

As with the previous two fly postings which I've mentioned, it was quite difficult to obtain sufficient and worthwhile information about these insects. I have taken the following information from one or two snippets from the Internet and used a small extract from the Field Guide to Insects of Southern Africa - by Picker, Griffiths and Weaving - Struik Publishers. The order Diptera have been described plenty of times on the site and an abundance of information is available. I therefore am not going to repeat all that have already been said just for the sake of it.

I still have a variety of wonderful and most colourful fly photos in the archives, which I still plan to share in due course.

Short General Overview
Tachinid flies, of which the Dejeania bombylans is a part off, belong to the family Tachinidae.

They are medium sized flies, often covered with strong bristles. Recognised under magnification by extra ridge (post-scutellum) under the most backward-projecting part of the thorax (scutellum). Adults feed on nectar, and often have a characteristic buzzing flight. All species are internal parasites of insects, or occasionally, centipedes. Larvae feed first on non-essential organs of the host and attack vital organs only when they are just about to pupate.

Butterflies and moths are the most common hosts, but any large larva from a range of groups, including bugs, grasshoppers, beetles and (rarely) wasps and bees, is attacked. Although there is a fair degree of host-specificity at the taxonomic level of order, there is little or none at the species level. Females may lay eggs directly into the host or on a plant that the host may eat inadvertently; alternatively, eggs may hatch into larvae that find their way into the host. Tachinids are important agriculturally as they suppress populations of injurious moth caterpillars. There are about 377 species known from the region.

This specific specie is known to parasitise only the African Boll Worm (Helicoverpa armigera).

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it. Normally I'm not one to brag very easily. I still have so much to learn about photography, but I do want to mention the following. An entomologist friend from the Cape will forward this specific image together with the workshop photo and the photos of the Hose Nose Cycad weevil to one of the authors of the above-mentioned book, Dr. Mike Picker. We (Loot & I) are of the opinion that these photos are more informative and of a higher quality than anything else we could find of these specific species on the Internet or in the book.

Argus, jlinaresp, zetu, nglen, Juyona, goldyrs, sranjan, Alex99, efsus, Noisette, pablominto, boreocypriensis, goutham_ramesh, briGG, roges, uleko, maurydv, siggi, jconceicao, CeltickRanger, KOMSIS, anel, septama, Marx44, Luis52, erve, Dis. Ac., Heaven, marhowie, darwin, JORAPAVI, CatStevens, jcoowanitwong, tuslaw, Mikolaj, jmirah has marked this note useful
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To goutham_ramesh: RegardsMiss_Piggy 1 06-22 02:50
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-06-20 4:51]

Hello Anna,
This is a super sharp macro of this Hedgehog Fly, taken from an excellent fronto-dorsal POV that shows all the features of this tachinid fly, including the 'spines'. The plain leaf BG are addinitioal aspects that make this macro top class.
Well done and thanks for sharing this one,
Best regards,

what a cool hairy yellow fly! :-) excellent macro-shot of this interesting species, love the details and pov from above
and front. sharpness and colors are great too. excellent presentation & best wishes, thor.

wow, never knew such flies also existed! thanks a lot for sharing this image. it's perfect :)

Wow, Anna, congrats on a great photo! Excellent pov, the shadow adds to the impact of the photo. This photo will be a great addition to any book!

Hello Anna,

Superb details in this macro! I applaud the quality and definition. You've managed very well with the corner light. Excellent work, very well composed.

greetings & TFS!


  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-06-20 9:59]

Hello Anna
This photo is special, you capture it with very sharp details, beautiful colors and perfect focus. Well done
Have a nice week-end.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-06-20 10:30]

HiAnna. This is a first class macros of this unusual looking fly. You have taken it with sharp focusing and fine detal. Your use of the light has given bright colours. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-06-20 13:11]

magnífica macro amiga,
detalles, estupendo pov y encuadre...
fina realización.

I didn't know what a porcupine fly, was Anna...But it's a beautiful shot, and the name does it justice as you beautifully detailed and illuminated shot shows..
I hope Loot's projects are coming through well..

Hello Anna,
Good to see this unique insect with protective spiky armour. I do agree with you that new generation photography has changed our lives. All of sudden we have started enjoying our surroundings & thanks to the internet, so that tremendous amount of information is available just with a click of mouse! Very well shot specimen of fly with perfect luminosity, details & sharpness. Thanks for sharing this macro photograph.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-06-20 23:30]

Hi Anna.
Absolutely fantastic image with unbelievable details and sharpness. Lights and shadows, colours and sharpness, POV and compositions are the best. Pictured fly is amazing in all respects too as well as photographer who has produced this masterpiece. My congratulations and Bravo.

Hi Anna,
A very good photo with excellent detail.
In New Zealand these are called Bristle Flies.
I posted a photo of one of ours a few months ago.
This one is cool.
Cheers & TFS

Hi Anna,
A gorgeous looking fly. Very nice name suites to its appearance. Excellent composition and sharp details too both here and in WS. Nice and useful notes. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2009-06-21 3:25]

Merhaba Anna!
Gerçekten çok etkileyici bir makro bu. Sineğin detayları ve özellikle gövde üzerindeki tüyleri çok müthiş görünüyor. Yeşil zemin üzerinde gölgesiyle birlikte enfes bir kompozisyon oluşturmuş. Tebrikler.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-06-21 3:30]

Hello Anna,
Wonderful photo. Never heard of this fly. What a perfect sharpness and details. Very beautiful light and colours. Great POV, BG and composition. High quality!

Hi Anna

You have done very well indeed, its a fine shot of this unusual fly. I do agree that until you start taking macro shots like this you just don't appreciate the delicate beauty of all creatures great and small.
I like teh composition and of course teh sharpness; the shaddow is an interesting addition to the shot.


Hello Anna
this Hedgehog Fly or "porcupine fly" is captured with great details, each hair on his body is well seen, wonderful colors and lighting, lovely natural colors,
excellent pose, POV and a like the shape of the shaddow
Have a good night

Hello Anna,

Fine details have been captured in this amazing insect!
Excellent macro work with pin sharp details, and I notice the fine texture in the leaf he is sitting on...
The composition is balanced with nice use of the shadow!

Pablo -

Hi Anna,
What a spectacular fly species perfectly captured by you.
The quality of the shot impressive and your notes, as always 1st class.
TFS this and have a nice new week!


A super sharp image of this Hedgehog Fly, I like the position of this insect in the frame and the uncanny shadow also adds to the picture!
Convey my regards to good old buddy Loot :-)

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-06-22 6:56]

Hello Anna,

Fly with strong bristles... very satrange!

Un good shot, excellent sharpeness ans colors!
Thanks for this share


  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-06-22 9:06]

Hi Anna,

Presentation of this beautiful insect.
Nice presentation and playback, congratulations.
Have an nice week,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-06-22 11:23]

Hello Anna,
I'm really glad you too enjoy the micro world of flies! It is so fascinating and I've often thought it a great shame that not more is shown about the micro world of insects on TV where instead endless films about the great beasts, lions, etc. are shown.
This is a superb capture of this 'bristle butt' showing fantastic details and colours in good light. I like the shadow too and your fine composition.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-06-23 12:12]

Hello Anna,
Amazing details on this tiny fly.
Great POV to show the anatomy.
Rich colors.
Green plant makes a great clean BG.
Shadow adds a fun element.
TFS. : )
P.S. Really enjoyed your shot! Can't say I am a fly-lover yet!

Ciao Anna, splendid macro with fantastic details and wonderful sharpness, I like a lot shadow of fly, very well done, ciao Silvio

Ciao Anna,
an excellent macro shot of this Fly taken from a very good frontal POV, superb sharpness and lighting, i like the light skiming the surfaces of the insect and the leaf very much, splendid diagonal composition.
Best regards

Ciao Anna. Stunning details and amazing light here. Again a great macro.


  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-06-24 9:09]

Hello Anna,
Wonderful sharp details in this macro shot.Splendid light and colors.Excellent presentation.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-06-24 14:06]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic details and sharpness , this is very good.Excellent composition, DOF, POV and colors. A great work!
Best regards Siggi

Hello Anna,

Fantastic macro.
Light,focus and sharpness are superb.
Note and composition are good.

Hi Anna,

Nice capture of teh Porcupine Fly! Superb macro. Nice sharp details


Hola Anna,

tu galería sigue espectacular y elegante como siempre. Muchos trabajos de calidad como este que nos presentas, con atractivas formas, colores y una sombra muy efectiva.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2009-06-25 19:47]

Hello Anna,
I see the resemblance! Beautiful macro, this picture is very well composed.. Nice notes


hello Anna

i think i have already written you but i will write it again,
with a compact/bridge camera you are doing DSLR
quality excellent and beautiful photos like this one,
and the charm of this photo it is the POV and with it
the shadow of the insect, TFS


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-06-26 2:43]

Hi Anna,this macro is really fantastic! What a impressive sharpness!!! And what a beautifuls colors.I like a lot the light position,the shadow on the leaf make a difference! My best compliments,have a nice day,LUCIANO

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-06-26 3:07]

Hi Anna,
An interesting angle shots ...
Very good close-up.
Superb focus and sharpness.Beutiful colours and light.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-06-26 5:27]

Hi Anna,
lovely presntation of this unique fly. The name itself is so terrifying. When I see the being, wow..it is so as its name. The sharp thorns are really sharp in details and its resolutions.
Well captured in splendid sharpness and composition. the shadow too adds some elements of extra beauty.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-06-26 5:55]

Hello Anna,
This fly is very impressive with all these prickels on its back. We have a species very similar which is called in German Igelfliege (hedgehog-fly too). A very sharp and well composed shot. Very impressive to see its shadow, makes the picture special.
Thanks also for the note and WS-picture
Kind regards

Hi Anna,
thanks for your recent comment, this image is astonishing, really nice, sharp and detailed close up. I love the shadow drop creates an artistic effect


  • Great 
  • Marx44 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 97 N: 926] (3891)
  • [2009-06-26 13:10]

Hi Anna,
it's a ugly fly but it's a very nice shot.
Nice colours and good details.
Great note.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2009-06-28 11:35]

Hello ANNA

Nice shot with good colors and details. The composiion is wonderful. I love the way you caught this insect

A gorgeous macro.
Colors, sharpness, details, all great.
Very nice sharing ...

Superb closeup with exquisite details and nice POV.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-07-01 19:10]

Hola Anna.
WOW. what a super Macro. You better dont touch this fly. Great sharpness all the way. and great light too.
Saludos Anna.

  • Great 
  • erve Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 3 N: 131] (620)
  • [2009-07-02 7:43]

Hi Anna,

Your cyber shot has really picked up an impressive level of detail on this the aptly named hedgehog fly.

He really is quite an odd looking little fellow. Excellent sharpness and details and nice timing for the composition.


Hi Anna,

very good and sharp macro shot witth exellent details.
I don't know this insect till yet.


  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2009-07-02 21:36]

Dear Anna!

Many thanks for your recent visit in my gallery. As you can see, I'm not often present on TN, too. The evenings are so long and fine now that I'm less sitting in front of my computer...

You present us a fabulous picture. It is of a rare quality, and I'm impressed what you can do with your Cybershot. The sharpness and especially the clarity just are superb and reveal so fine details. The lightplay, particularly the shadow created by the insect and reflected by the leaf is magnificent. It is as we would have two insects in the picture. Moreover, it seems that they look at me... the composition creates this effect. One can feel that this is not just a lucky shot, but the result of a photographer's eye and work...

Congratulations, many thanks and kind regards


Really like this long shadow cast Anna, interesting light.
Great detail and comp too..The common name sure fits nicely as well :)
Thanx & say hi to Loot for me,

  • Great 
  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2009-07-03 19:46]

Hi Anna
Crystal clear macro shot with super fine detail and nice natural color tones.
tfs jon

Bonjour Anna, quelle étrange mouche ....
Je la connaissais pas, bravo pour cette macro aux détails impressionnants
J'aime bien l'ombre de l'insecte, elle donne une dimension ŕ la photo

hello Anna
Great Painting!!
beautiful picture of this insect
super sharpness and good details
greeting lou

Hola Anna,
Excelente macro con gran nitidez y detalle, muy buena composición e iluminación, saludos
José Ramón

Muy buenos detalles, color y composición...saludos

Hello Anna,
Fantastic sharp macro plus artistic shadow, together with very informative note, excellent work, congrats

Hi Anna,
This is my first time to see this Hedgehog Fly. This is and eye opening. The image is crystal clear. The light and shadow are great.

Hi Anna

I like the composition and the shadow ...
Great picture!


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-07-14 18:09]

Hello Anna,
There should be no doubt as to why you decided to call this a porcupine fly, what a strange looking little critter!!
The detail is amazing and the colors are just gorgeous. Love the lighting in it's wings, as well as the excellent DOF you managed to capture. The workshop photo is of equal quality!!!
Super job!!!!

Hello Anna,
There's always a lot of new things to learn from TN. First time to see this fly and always enjoy reading your write-up. Keep up the good work.
Cheers from Canada, Conrad

great close up and natural light! TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • tcr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 8 N: 538] (3384)
  • [2009-07-22 13:50]

Hello Anna.
Very rare image taken with
rich details and appropriate point of view.
Well done.

Hi,Anna.This is indeed a verry good picture with such a nice clarity,great POV.We can see all details of this little.Well done!Friendly regards.Alin.

Hello Anna,
an amazing capture in its very powerful, strictly reduced diagonal composition, the tack sharp details, the backlight making the colours shine and casting a fascinating shadow.
Am eye-catching winner, deserving to be on a book's front page, exciting to look at.
My congratulations!
With best regards,

P.S.: Thank you for your visit and kind words to me recent posting after many weeks of absence. Always a great pleasure to see and to hear from you. Hope you and Loot are well, and enjoying South Africa's cool time of the year. With all my best wishes to both of you.

Hello Anna,
My God, this is amazing photo!

Hello Anna! Excellent macro, perfect exposure and capture. Nice natural light and colours. Good sharpness. Great effect. Well done!

Hi Anna
Excellent excellent close-up wit exceptional detail and color...TFS

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