A louse by any other name

insect on grass

Continuing my campaign to convince certain people that bugs can be pretty, here are two images of a psocid, commonly known as a bark louse.  Psocids are very small, and easily overlooked.  This little louse was the star of a post way back in Autumn 2012, but for some reason I omitted these pictures that time.  As ever with my insect photography, the images are as much about the background as the bug itself.

insect

Study in yellow

chrysoperla carnea

f/4, 1/250, ISO 1000, 100mm


A shot from October that I had overlooked. Lacewings appear delicate but are formidable predators of aphids. According to my Collins Complete Guide to British Insects, ‘the larvae of some species camouflage themselves with the dead skins of their prey’ (p.106). I thought it was pretty, toning with the autumn colour of my dogwood tree. Lacewings look amazing in flight; a photographic challenge for this year perhaps…

chrysoperla carnea

Cropped for those who like their bugs up close and personal

Lace bug

insect macro

100mm , f13, 1/200, ISO 800

This bizarre creature is a lace bug, probably stephanitis rhododendri, which is bad news for the rhododendrons and azaleas in my garden.  Or it might be stephanitis takeyai, which is bad news for the pieris in my garden.  So it is bad news for me as a gardener either way!  I don’t know why it was posing in my sumac tree instead of one of its preferred meals, but I thought the colours worked rather nicely.