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"wingless blacksmith"

Photo Information
Copyright: Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-03
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D, Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro, @ ISO 400
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Heteroptera of Europe+Turkey-1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-04 9:15
Viewed: 3708
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Isn't that name strange, my friends? "Wingless blacksmith" is an exact translation of the Polish name of this bug - kowal bezskrzydly. I could never get it, why the hell someone could name this bug like that! Well, I understand "wingless" - it's because of the reduced wings in both sexes. But "blacksmith"... it doesn't look like one...

There's also another name, in my opinion much more suitable. Children call this bugs "trams". It's because when they're mating they look like two tram wagons. And in Poland trams are usually red.

The English name is much more prosaic and translated from the Latin name - firebug. With their contrasting colours, there's no need to explain where the name is derived from...

Talking more scientifically, the bug is:

Pyrrhocoris apterus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Pyrrhocoridae
Order: Heteroptera

Pyrrhocoridae are the family encompassing some 300 species worldwide. A few of them are important crop pests. They are called cotton stainers because their red bodies get crushed along with the cotton they eat when it is harvested, and these stains are difficult to remove. Their feeding mechanism also cuts the fibres and hence affects the growth of the cotton ball.

In Europe the best known genus is Pyrrhocoris with three species:
- Pyrrhocoris niger Reuter, 1888
- Pyrrhocoris marginatus (Kolenati, 1845)
- Pyrrhocoris apterus (Linnaeus, 1758)

The most widespread and noticeable is the last one. Pyrrhocoris apterus occurs in various habitats, woods, meadows and also in cities. It very characteristic by lifestyle. In the spring females lay eggs to the ground. The nymphs turn to adults in the autumn. Then the adult stage overwinters in great numbers under dry leaves, stones, in tree trunks or even in buildings (in cities). Early spring the imagines emerge from their shelters and swarm. It's quite an impressive sight - big patches of bright red colour on dark soil. During that time the bugs mate and the whole cycle repeats.

As all true bugs, firebugs have mouthparts of sucking type. They are not too picky. They pierce and suck out about everything they can get: plants, seeds, dead insects. Their true delicacy are limetree seeds, often you can see several of them feeding on one seed (please see the workshop).

SkyF, fartash, Alex99, volkan, ellis49, batu, JoseMiguel, Argus, mikou, uleko, ramthakur, vanderschelden, GLEM, cicindela, jmp, paulsballs has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cicindela: coraz mniejsze :-)cedryk 2 04-04 16:52
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-04 9:37]

Hello Michal,
beautiful composed macro, I like how the bug takes over almost the entire space. Superp details and excellent sharpness.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-04 9:38]

Hola amigo,
un gran disparo,
nitidez y excelente color,
buen uso del flash.

Hello Michal
What a intersting shot of this Fire Bug,
Perfect compo and lighting,
Great POV and BG, Welldone.

Good Luck

Hi Michal,
Very well presented macro here.
Clear colors and details.
Sharpness and the blurry BG are superb.

Hi Michal,
Agree, the names look very funny.
It seems like sigma 70mm macro works good.
The details and sharpness is very good.
What I like most is the very good DOF, the entire bug is in focus and the BG still in OOF, very good.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-04 10:03]

Hi Michal.
Common bug but what a nice scenery, colour palette and BG. I like your POV, composition of the shot and skillful choice of exposure parameters and use of flash. Perfect done and my best regards.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-04-04 10:05]

Hello Michal,
a professional picture of the bug clearly showing all its details in natural colours. A frame-filling presentation highly suitable as a textbook figure.
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-04-04 10:08]

Hi Michal,
Very good precedent for macro .
Clear colors and details.
Sharpness and the blurry BG are magnificent.
best regards

Hi Michel,
Outstanding macro!
It's really impressive the sharpness of the image, and the vivid colors you got on it.
I like so much the textured surface of the insect, and the clear details seen.
Very good the DOF, you isolated the insect in such a great way.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

hi michal,
nice macro shot,well saturated colours, sharp image with good details, the pov from the top gives fair idea about the insect,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2007-04-04 10:58]

Hi Michal,

Really good macro. Sharp details and vivid colors. Nice crop also. TFS.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-04-04 11:34]

Hello Michal,
Superb macro of the Firebug, with good DOF, sharpness, detail, comp and fine BG.
The Swedish name is Eldlus, which means 'firebug'.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-04-04 12:06]

Hi Michal.
Beautiful detail of this bug.Details and colours are perfect.I like composition so much and very nice your used point of view.Pretty blurry BG too.Very nice done!
Thanks,with greeting Milos.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-04 12:23]

Hello Michal,
Brilliant macro of this beautiful bug showing stunning details and colours. Very fine soft background and an excellent composition.
TFS and best wishes,Ulla

Very sharp and colourful image of this Wingless Blacksmith, Michal. I like its name in Polish.
I see this is a recent picture, so it looks like the nature is coming awake in you part of the world.
Thanks for sharing the image and best regards.

Hi Michal,
Well done.
Composed very well. Excellent colours.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-04-04 13:37]

Hi Michal,

An excellent close up from this colorfull bug,well captured macro with good sharpness and dof,great colors and details,well done an TFS


  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-04-04 14:54]

hi Michal,
très très bonne macro, les détails sont très fin, et la couleur rouge parfaitement restituée.


No widze, ze coraz mniejsze zwierzaki wchodza na tapete :) I tak trzymac!!!
Bardzo fajna fotka nie tylko jakosciowo, ale i dokumentacyjnie. Kolorystyka, ostrosc, kard, notka - naprawde niezle! ;>

Hola Michal,
Excelente macro de este minúsculo insecto, casi le haces una radiografía :)). Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • Justi (14)
  • [2007-04-06 18:40]

Witam! Oj, genialne zdjęcie. Wyraziste kolory, przybliżenie. Wszystko mi się podoba. A tych robaków zawsze było pełno i jakoś ich nie lubiłam. Widzę, że mają całkiem sympatyczną "twarz", więc zmieniam zdanie :) Haha, pozdrawiam i gratuluję!

Dans certains ouvrage, il a pour nom : Suisse !
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-11 8:39]

Hi Michal,
I bookmarked this photo in its day by its hight quality: excellent pov, colours, details... but after reading your notes about polish name, english name... I've enjoyed with them a lot too!
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-04-12 15:01]

Estética macro Michal y con buenas características técnicas permitiendo apreciar al insecto con muy buena agudeza y enfoque dentro de una escena armoniosa y bien iluminada.
El trasfondo difuso colabora realzando el primer plano efectivamente.
Valioso aporte también de la imagen del workshop.
Mis mejores saludos... Ricardo

Aesthetic macro Michal and with good technical characteristics allowing to appreciate the insect with very good sharpness and focusing inside a harmonious and very well illuminated scene.
The diffuse background collaborates enhancing the forefront exactly.
Valuable contribution also of the image of workshop.
My best greetings... Ricardo

Hi Michal,
Very nice shot with great colors and sharpness
good composition,

Hi Michal,
Very good approach to this red furious bug, with excellents details and focus. Very similar to a species that I´ve "found" last year and upload in my gallery. Could be the same genus??
Best regards

G’day again! a professional image. Excellent exposure, focus, detail, and DOF. Well done!
TFS Paul

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