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Feeding meloid beetle

Feeding meloid beetle
Photo Information
Copyright: patrick neuberg (pat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 87 W: 0 N: 125] (414)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma EX 50mm F2.8 DG Macro
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/100 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-04-23 17:41
Viewed: 5160
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The meloids are impressive dark coloured beetle with up to 3.5cm body length. In spring they are frequently found strolling around on the sandy soil, as here in the Rhine river forest. The meloid beetle are most interesting by their reproductive biology : The female beetle, with their large swollen abdomen, lay thousands of eggs in an excavated hole. The hatching larva, called triungulinus, is very mobile and crawls around to reach flowers where it is waiting for bees to approach photographed here. When a wild bee visits the flower it will firmly attach to the bees "fur" to be transported (phoresis) to their nest. Here it will first feed on one of the bee’s own larva, then transforms into a second larval form, being apod (as legs would be no longer of any use) and feeding on the "sticky" honey. Going through different distinct larval stages is called Hypermetamorphosis, an is particularly pronounced among some parasitic species.
In central Europe there exist three very similar meloid species of the same genus : Meloe proscarabaeus, M. violaceus and M. rugosus. The photographed species seems to be M. violaceus (no guarantee).

Photo taken with Sigma 50mm macro lens, topped with a large plastic diffuser sheet. Built-in flash set manually on max. power.

Size, Quality : Large, fine ; white balance : sunny ; Digital Iso : 200 ; Sharpness : +1

PP with Photoshop7. Slight cropping ; levels ; USM

[PS : The small fly seen in main picture was not just there by pure chance ; in fact I observed those minute flies often around and on these large meloid beetle, where they seemed to prick on the beetle's joints (see workshop for a detailed view)]

phlr, Actiereactie, magal has marked this note useful
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To magal: minute flypat 1 05-01 14:38
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Critiques [Translate]

Beautiful capture with great sharpness and detail, not that easy with such a black insect.

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2006-04-24 9:46]
  • [+]

Hi Pat,
Beautiful shot! You managed to catch action here. Very good composition, with that small fly giving a sense of the size of this strange insect. Very sharp and colours are very vivid.POV EXCELLENT

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-04-25 6:00]

Great capture!
Never saw this kind of insect.
Very good POV and DOF!
Very good on details too!
5* and TFS!

This is an excellent shot of a meliod, what a strange oddity. The exposure is just right showing fantastic colors and incredible details which impresses me very much. :)

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