Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Getting the Bugs Out

 Ever since I got a replacement for my old Sigma EM-140 ring flash (it's an older model and it doesn't flash on my EOS D77), I've been back to shooting macros out of doors.  The cheap replacement for the Sigma ring is a "KF150 TTL Marco (Sic) Ring Flash," which seems to be doing a decent job.

But what I really want to write about is a site that I recently stumbled across.  It's called iNaturalist. According to a Wikipedia description

iNaturalist is a citizen science project and online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe.

I've joined iNaturalist and have posted a number of my recent shot to the site, along with my tentative classifications.  Boy, what a humbling experience.  My identifications have been largely challenged by the experts, and I have little to doubt their authority as to the correct species.

I had labelled this a a Dog Day Cicada (Neotibicen canicularis):

However, it turns out that it's really a Common Swamp Cicada (Neotibicen tibicen).  To my delight, this photo has been flagged as a "research grade."

One other earned that classification.  I'd originally identified this as a Modest Masked Bee (Hylaeus modestus), but that has been corrected to be an Eastern Masked Bee (Hylaeus affinis).  At least I've been getting the genus right.

In my defense, if you look at a picture of a Modest Masked Bee, it looks identical to this. The telltale distinction, according the the expert, is the presence of a yellow spot on the tegulae.

Just for grins, here's one that I took with my Canon EF70-200 telephoto:

It's tentatively identified as a Robber Fly (Efferia aestuans).  Let's hope that I got this one right.

To date, I've submitted six insects and one plant to iNaturalist.  I'm hoping that I can contribute many more.

No comments: