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Kiss of Death III

Kiss of Death III
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: 2007-09-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS, Raynox DCR-250, Digital ISO-80, Kenko 58mm UV filter
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-28 2:03
Viewed: 5086
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I found a couple more photos of the Wasp and Fly in my archives and here's the first!

I hope you like it!

Wasps of the genus Sphex (commonly known as digger wasps) are cosmopolitan predators of the family Sphecidae that sting and paralyze prey insects. There are over 130 known digger wasp species. In preparation for egg laying they construct a protected "nest" (some species dig nests in the ground, while others use pre-existing holes) and then stock it with captured insects. Typically the prey are left alive, but paralyzed by wasp toxins. The wasps lay their eggs in the provisioned nest. When the wasp larvae hatch, they feed on the paralyzed insects.

A well-known species of digger wasp is the great golden digger (Sphex ichneumoneus) which is found in North America. The developing wasps spend the winter in their nest. When the new generation of adults emerge, they contain the genetically-programmed behaviors that are required to carry out another season of nest building. During the summer, a female might build as many as half a dozen nests, each with several compartments for her eggs. The building and provisioning of the nests takes place in a stereotypical, step-by-step fashion.

Some Sphex wasps drop a paralyzed insect near the opening of the nest. Before taking provisions into the nest, the Sphex first inspects the nest, leaving the prey outside. During the wasp's inspection of the nest an experimenter can move the prey a few inches away from the opening of the nest. When the Sphex emerges from the nest ready to drag in the prey, it finds the prey missing. The Sphex quickly locates the moved prey, but now its behavioral "program" has been reset. After dragging the prey back to the opening of the nest, once again the Sphex is compelled to inspect the nest, so the prey is again dropped and left outside during another stereotypical inspection of the nest. This iteration can be repeated again and again, with the Sphex never seeming to notice what is going on, never able to escape from its genetically-programmed sequence of behaviors. Dennett's argument quotes an account of Sphex behavior from Wooldridge's Machinery of the Brain (1963). Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett have used this mechanistic behavior as an example of how seemingly thoughtful behavior can actually be quite mindless, the opposite of human behavioral flexibility that we experience as free will (or, as Hofstadter described it, antisphexishness).

In addition to this seemingly instinctive and programmed behavior, the Sphex has been shown, as in some Jean Henri Fabre studies, not to count how many crickets it collects for its nest. Although the wasp instinctively searches for four crickets, it cannot take into account a lost cricket, whether the cricket has been lost to ants or flies or simply been misplaced. Sphex drags its cricket prey towards its burrow by the antennae; if the antennae of the cricket are cut off, the wasp would not think to continue to pull its prey by a leg.


boreocypriensis, rcrick, smitha, Argus, matatur, uleko, marcellr, SkyF, jazdzurka, soccer, jcoowanitwong, ramthakur, eqshannon, cataclysta, jaycee, Alex99, wideload, nglen, Juyona, Luis52, SelenE, Ena, Adanac, angybone, xTauruSx, zulfu, nkasot, cicindela, tuslaw, Thierrry has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cicindela: Thankyou!joey 1 03-04 08:40
To xTauruSx: Thankyou!joey 1 03-03 14:49
To zulfu: Thanks!joey 1 03-03 14:47
To jaycee: Thankyoujoey 1 02-28 12:10
To eqshannon: Hmm...joey 1 02-28 12:09
To SkyF: :-)joey 1 02-28 12:06
To Argus: Thanks Ivanjoey 1 02-28 12:05
To nglen: Hi Nickjoey 1 02-28 11:55
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi friend Joe,

Woowww... a perfect capture of this reality in action:) Excellent exposure and focus achieved the wonderful sharpness, real colour and details my friend! well done!


Hi Joe,
Brilliant macro, the detail is stunning, colours are amazing, composition excellent, lighting perfect, just wonderful, all the best Cheers Rick :)

Hi Joe,
Fantastic shot! The sharpness and details are great. Point of view and the composition are excellent. Very good colours and contrasts too.
Thanks for the share,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-28 2:36]
  • [+]

Nice one Joe!
Though a tad oversharpened, the technical quality, composition, POV and pose with the fly prey of this Digger Wasp is very high.
I like the composition with the curved blade of grass against the bokeh BG.
Thanks for sharing this fine image,

Hi Joe

Impressive macro with the S3, those close up lens' really improve the S3 s capability. Great sharpness and DOF.


An effective predator-prey relationship perfectly captured Joe, but I'd prefer a solitary wasp to this my friend, the POV on that wasp was so nice and the focus perfect with ideal lighting which resulted in a tremendous amount of detail, it should suffice to create a perfect composition all by itself. TFS my friend.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-28 3:15]

Hello Joe,
Wow, this is a splendid action shot, and with your old camera! Great focus and amazing sharp details. Nice light and good colours too but most of all I like the composition - brilliant!
Many thanks, Ulla

Ciao Joe,
hai saputo fissare, con questa splendida immagine, un momento molto interessante nella vita di questo Sfecide.
Complimenti per la bella composizione e l'ottimo sfondo omogeneo.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-02-28 4:02]
  • [+]

Hi Joe,
wow what a great shot, the macro work is very nice but the composition is fabulous.
Love the love the round shapes in this shot.

Hi Joe
What a great macro !!
Technically perfect and also showing the "working" nature.
Very informative note as well. Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-02-28 4:43]

Perfect timing Joe! Great macro with great subjects! Sharp, well composed and a perfect exposure, very well done, thanks!



A Superb shot!!

The composition, POV, sharpness, Lighting, POV, DOF, OOF BG and the subject are all extremely well done.


Hi Joe,
Wow, this is fantastic. The action is not normally seen and you captured with perfect result. Sharp focus with great color clarity. Very well done and tfs.

A dramatic moment well captured, Joe.
Though I was initially mystified about a wasp attacking a fly, your note explains it very well.
The colours and details on the wasp are super. The bent broad leaf makes a fine location for the "kiss of death".
Well done and TFS.

Oddly or 0perhaps not, the title could aptly fit my reaction as well as the fly. This particular breed had a hole in the ground nest which I found in the mid 1980's after running over it with a lawn mower. Upon calling the agriculture agent, we were told how to rid ourselves of it which we did...
Sort of a frightening image...so clear and its intent very clear as well..Fine image Joey. And super notes.

Hi Joe, amazing capture of splendid wasp killing a fly, great action shoot with wonderful details and superb sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Joe
Great action macro shot. Great DOF and sharpness, perfect OOF background. Dark frame is closeing the scene very well
I like it very much

Hi Joe,

Like it? I love it. What a fantastic action shot. You captured both the fly and the wasp perfectly. Excellent colors, sharp details, a great background. I'm looking forward to the next one.


hello joe,
excellent macro shot, you have captured it very well, liked the pov, the composition and the details,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi Joe,
very unique shot. The Grass blade adds to the picture , making more artistic . The sharpness and POV is very good
looks slightly over exposed.

Joe, muchas gracias por tus elogios, pero lo mío no es nada comparado con tus bellas fotografías.
Una bella y original escena la que nos presentas, con un excelente encuadre y mostrando la cruda realidad de la naturaleza.

Un abrazo: J. Ignasi

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-02-28 9:21]

Hi Joe,
Outstanding shot and a graet action moment captured. Immaculate sharpness and lovely colours. The lighting and exposure levels are great. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-28 10:49]

Hi Joe.
Thank you for this amazing picture. Composition of the picture cannot be better as well as the subject. I like wonderful inclined leaf and brilliant image of the insect. Scene is so dramatic as amazing. Lights, DOF, colours and sharpness are ultimate. Bravo and well done.

Hi Joe,

what an excellent detailed capture of nature in action, very good work, TFS and keep them coming.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-28 11:46]
  • [+]

Hi Joe. Had no Internet last night at home i was lost . and you have been just keeping this one i would have posted it much early. Its an excellent close up. the detail is first class with rich but still natural looking colours. great POV/DOF. very good work. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-02-28 13:53]

Hola Joe,
hermosa captura y detalles,
buena macro, pov,
e iluminación espléndida,

Hi Joe,
Brilliant macro and much detail.
Great shot with beautiful colours.

Regards Gert

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-02-28 14:11]

Hi Joe.
High quality lavel in this super Macro. It is the way is is I guess. Very sharp and great colors.

Hello Joe,
Super macro with the right title!
you are a great master of macro now! look at the closeness and sharpness, you are the man!
my compliment
have a wonderful weekend, Joe!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-28 22:02]


Superb capture - spot-on timing, focus and detail, excellent isolation and great colour. One of your best.

Good note - did you ever see the pilot movies for the first ever 'Battle Star Galactica' - the latter part of movie was based on the behaviour of these wasps, using humans as the food for a race of aliens!


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-02-28 23:29]

Hi Joe,
Lovely close-up with very good timing. I liked the pose you captured and the colors a lot. TFS

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2008-02-28 23:55]

Triste réalité de la vie animale mais au combien spectaculaire.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-02-29 8:22]

Hi Joe,
Nice title,
Beautiful capture, good timing!

Hi Joe,
WOW! It is really impressionnant, fantastique , d'une grande netteté.

Wow Joe,
splendid action shot very well captured here with a perfect focus, colours are splendid and very sharp, lovely background and excellent composition,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-03-01 8:11]

Hello Joe,
Just plain and simply an incredible image. WOW joe great work.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-02 8:02]

Hello Joe,
Looking back at your photos of last week, I saw this superb one.
This is really perfection. Excellent clear colours, light, sharpness and details. Great timing, POV, BG and composition.

I have missed so much of your work!
This is another one of those amazing macros. You really have the touch! And you find the best action shots. Wonderfl!

Hello Joe
Another wonderful picture. Good light. Great sharpness. Very nice detail.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-03 13:03]
  • [+]

Hello Joe,
Woww... another excellent photo. Perfect composition. Great light and natural colours.

Hi Joe,

Another perfect image as usual. All is perfect; composition colors details contrast, all is beautiful. TFS.

Hello Joe!
Yes, this is a really "murder kiss"! Fantastic capture with great details and DOF! You very very lucky to see such moment in the wild, and a professional hand of photographer allowed us to see the result of this observation!
Simply great capture and my favourite picture!
Friendly yours,

Amazing shot. You have captured an excellent moment. And the name is also apt.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-05-18 18:34]

What a magnificient shot!! Perfect sharpness, detail, and great colours. To be able to capture it with it's prey is fantastic!!

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