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Even Closer!

Even Closer!
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-13
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi), Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM, Digital ISO-200, Kenko 58mm UV filter
Exposure: f/22, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-24 3:20
Viewed: 3351
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This the same Greenbottle from a few days ago only this time closer in.
What amazed me is the 3rd "eye" in between both eyes surrounded by bristles. Howard Shirley found out what it is: An ocellus. Here's wikipedia's definition: Also called "simple eyes", ocelli are miniature eyes capable of sensing light but not distinguishing its direction.

Thanks Howard!

This was taken with the 75-300mm lens and a Raynox DCR 250.


Blow-flies (also frequently spelled blow flies or blowflies) are members of the family Calliphoridae of flies (Diptera). Flies in this family are often metallic in appearance.

Some members of this family are known as bluebottles, clusterflies or greenbottles. The name blow-fly comes from an older English term for meat that had eggs laid on it, which was said to be fly blown. Blow-flies are usually the first insect to come in contact with a dead animal.

Blowflies have caught the interest of researchers in a variety of fields, although the large body of literature on calliphorids has been concentrated on solving the problem of myiasis in livestock. It is estimated that the sheep blowfly Lucilia cuprina causes the Australian sheep industry over $170 million a year in losses. While much of the biology of these flies has been studied in the laboratory, the natural life history of the blowflies remains a largely untapped body of research.

Adult blow-flies are occasional pollinators, being attracted to flowers with a strong odor resembling rotting meat, such as the American pawpaw or Dead Horse Arum. There is little doubt that these flies utilize nectar as a source of carbohydrates to fuel flight, but just how and when this happens is unknown.

Larvae of most species are scavengers of carrion and dung and most likely constitute the majority of the maggots found in such material, although it is not uncommon for them to be found in close associate with other dipterous larvae from the families Sarcophagidae, Muscidae, and many other acalyptrate muscoid flies.

Most species of blowflies studied thus far are anautogenous; a female requires a substantial amount of protein to develop mature eggs within her ovaries (about 800 g per pair of ovaries in Phormia regina). The current theory is that females visit carrion both for protein and egg laying, but this remains to be proven. Blow-fly eggs are approximately 1.5 mm x 0.4 mm, are yellowish or white, and when laid, look like rice balls. While the female blow-fly typically lays 150-200 eggs per batch, she is usually iteroparous, laying around 2,000 eggs during the course of her life. The sex ratio of blowfly eggs is usually 50:50, but one interesting exception is currently documented in the literature. Females from two species of the genus Chrysomya (C. rufifaces and C. albiceps) are either arrhenogenic (laying only male offspring) or thelygenic (laying only female offspring).

Hatching from an egg to the first larval stage takes about 8 hours to one day. Larvae have three stages of development (called instars); each stage is separated by a molting event.The instars are separable by examining the posterior spiracles, or openings to the breathing system. The larvae use proteolytic enzymes in their excreta (as well as mechanical grinding by mouth hooks) to break down proteins on the livestock or corpse they are feeding on. Blowflies are poikilothermic, which is to say that the rate at which they grow and develop is highly dependent on temperature and species. Under room temperature (about 30 degrees celsius) the black blowfly Phormia regina can go from egg to pupa in 150-266 hours (6 to 11 days). When the third stage is complete the pupa will leave the corpse and burrow into the ground, emerging as an adult 7 to 14 days later.

Since development is highly predictable if the ambient temperature is known, blow-flies are considered a valuable tool in forensic science. Traditional estimations of time since death (namely rigor mortis and algor mortis) are generally unreliable after 72 hours and often entomologists are the only officials capable of generating an accurate approximate time interval. The specialized discipline related to this practice is known as forensic entomology.

Blowfly maggots have also been used successfully in the treatment of badly infected wounds: see maggot therapy, although maggots have been known to eat away healthy tissues as well.

boreocypriensis, Argus, gerbilratz, cicindela, uleko, jusninasirun, Jamesp, Alex99, jcoowanitwong, ramthakur, CENT-TRETZE, eqshannon, jaycee, matatur, nglen, hester, haraprasan, Heaven, horia has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Hello Horia!joey 7 02-26 00:56
To Heaven: Flyjoey 1 02-25 04:11
To CENT-TRETZE: Hola Josepjoey 1 02-24 08:49
To gerbilratz: Thanks!joey 3 02-24 04:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi friend Joe,

I liked the eye contact in this excellent close-up portrait of Greenbottle fly. The sharpness and details of the head and especially the compound eyues are first class.
Thanks for sharing friend,


Hi Joe, Try an Ocellus...light receptor found in creatures with compound eye...photoreceptor type thingy..incredible shot as well......TFS.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-24 4:19]

Hello Joe,
Wow, you can't get much closer than this! Superb macro showing all intricate details including the "third eye" that I noticed on your last pic. Brilliant work and a good note too!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-24 4:25]

Hello Joe,
We are neighbours!
We can learn a lot from fine macros like this one of a greenbottle's head. Not only by seeing the structure of the compound eyes that you have captured sharply with good detail, but to wonder about other structures. The ocellus (thanks, Howard) is nice to see at the top of the forehead.
Thanks for sharing this interesting image,

Hello Joe,

This is a microscopic macro with an even closer view. Amazing texture of the eyes like a wire mesh. The metallic color and hairy details are well written throughout the image. Well done and best regards. Awesome view!


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  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-24 4:40]

Hi Joe

I am split between admiration and revulsion! ;) As you know insects are not my favourite. Wonderful level of skill here.


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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-24 5:14]

Hi Joe.
Great use of telelens for macro shooting. Result is huge. Terrific magnification and brilliant details. I welcome use of natural light. It have allowed you to save all tiny details. Bravo and TFS.

Hi Joe,
Never see a fly this close before. This is wonderful. The third eye also a new thing to me. Very well done and tfs.

Joe, you are doing extremely well at macro photography with your equipment. This is a brilliant capture of a fly's compound eyes.
Well done and TFS.

Hello Joey:
Both super macro photography, as the amazing technical explanation of the fly is a great job done by my best friend Trek.
I do not have enough words in my vocabulary to express my admiration for everything you do. And I imagine you vouchers good photographic equipment that lets you do this work so worthwhile, I also understand that you documented to make your comments via Wikipedia and others of a similar nature, but nevertheless remains a commendable job yours. Congratulations friend of mine for everything you do.

I am also happy to come to a holiday in Catalonia (Pals) Whenever I say what if it is possible for a meeting to know, if I lose I will have the drawback of the language because I do not speak English, I always avail myself of translator your website. But I think your master Spanish, as it has made any comments in Spanish.



Unreal...You will soon be the worlds expert on the fly...It killed Vincent Price you know, but perhaps only Hollywood insiders remember the original un-covered film. Very nice and super interesting notes...

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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-24 9:03]

Hi Joe,

How close can you get? The two huge eyes are amazing but that third one is the one that gets me. It is so perfect!


Hi Joe,
This is a succesful super-macro shot my friend, demonstrating the complexity of nature in those compound eyes. Of course, one wonders what that single weak ocellus do amidst hundreds of similarly constructed ommatidia which form those compound eyes, but well, no doubt nature knows better!

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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-02-24 11:16]

Hi Joe

I think that is the closest fly shot I have seen. I have never seen the third eye before - amazing. Great note, amazing close up and great sharpness



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  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-02-24 19:40]

Hi Joe,
Outstanding macro of these compounded eyes of the Greenbottle. Very neat and sharp but it looks so scary. Superb composition. Kudos.

Hi Joe,
I have tried a lot to take a similar composition with a much similar species here. But all my efforts are in vain. Hope next time I will succeed. A superb close up macro do these beautiful compound eyes. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-02-25 0:34]

Joey, looks like a BMP file enlarged. Superb colors. Great view. Ganesh

Hi Joe!
Yes, this is an "eye-contact"! :):):)
Very good macro, so detailed and colorful! "Only" a fly but shown in very interesting and unique way, my best congratulations!
Friendly yours,

Hi Joe!

Your portraits of animals in general and your macro pictures in particular are simply sublime! It's a pleasure to look at them and to read the very interesting and detailed notes.

As far as this picture is concerned, I notice a great richness of details and the colors are superb. It would be interesting to know at which distance you were from that little monster and how you manage to get it in front of your lens!

Kind regards


Hi Joe, amazing portrait with superb details of composite eye, splendid focus and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-02-25 8:05]

Hahahaha! Wow! That's close! Next time it will be done with a microscope! :-) Great shot my friend and very interresting one, thanks!


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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-02-25 10:39]
  • [+]

Hi Joe

I'm back from my little outing today...which went great, by the way :) Found my first damsel of the year ;) (i might post it soon, although the shot isn't spectacular).

Back to this very interesting macro...it's really convenient that your Raynox works together with your lenses, since you can get some pretty impressive magnifications my friend :)
However, they seem to come with a harsh loss in DOF - i see you already have blurred elements here only a few millimeters from the focused part and using f/22 :( It's times like these that i'm sure you crave for a true macro lens :)
I see your debating on which one of the two Sigmas to buy...if you want my opinion, i agree with Nick - the 180 now and the Bigma later. In my opinion, your skill with macros is really good and if you want to have a better chance of earning some extra money through your images, you can do that by taking better and bigger macros and selling them...then you'll be able to get other lenses sooner :)
Anyway, the DOF issue aside, i really like the colors and the details here as well as that little ocellus. I remember learning about them in the first year of college :)
Great work overall, my friend and good luck in getting the right lens and taking some great photos :)

Cheers and TFS

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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-25 10:44]

Hi Joe. This is spot on macro work . such detail in the eyes . i have never seen the 3rd eye before . excellent work and notes . well done TFS.

Wowww Joe,
I was missed yhis great macro shot, realy impressive indeed,
what a fabulous details into his eyes,
Splendidn colours and metalic reflets,
cheer my friend,

Calibration Check