Morning everyone. I noticed yesterday that butterflies had started showing up on the
weeds native flowering plants in my patch of green, so being a n obsessive diligent photographer type I got out my macro and flash to capture a few of them shaking off that chrysalis hangover. Neither of these shots came out perfect by my tastes but they could make nice 8x10s on a wall somewhere. I noticed a few bees out among the flies and bumblebees, not as many as I expect by now, but still encouraging. I dread the year when I don’t see any.
Then one of those movie moments happened where you glance up from the very close subject of attention and the focus racks out to something more troubling. Ima put it below the fold and throw out a trigger alert because some bugs are less adorbs than others.
Apparently the kaiju on my flowers is not deadly. Says MikeS,
It is is a large robber fly called Ospriocerus vallensis unsurprisingly the only common name I can find is “Large black and red robber fly” see:
They are predators that catch other insects in flight. They are good for your garden as they eat other flies and many other pests. It isn’t likely to be aggressive since it is not a wasp and has not nest to defend, although it would certainly bite you with its piercing mouth-parts if you tried to catch it in your bare hand and iit would probably hurt.
The butterflies are also apparently not butterflies but some type of moth.
While I did not take the time to measure this insect with any precision, my feelings at the time suggest it was about half the size of a golden retriever. Says I to myself, maybe this is one of those harmless pollinating wasps. It seems a lot more interested in those flowers than say, murder, or laying eggs in a paralyzed host so the larvae can devour the helpless prey animal while it lives and feels. That reassuring feeling faded a bit when I went through my pics.
This raises a few questions in my mind.
1) WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? CAN IT KILL ME?
2) WTF WAS I THINKING USING A MACRO LENS. WITH A FLASH. UP IN ITS FACE. EIGHTEEN TIMES.