Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dogday Harvestfly?

 I'd call it a locust (though they are really of the traditional grasshopper ilk) or even a cicada but my insect book says otherwise: Dogday Harvestfly (Tibicen canicularis). I don't suppose I ever paid close enough attention but the common Periodical Cicada (the one with the 17 year brood hereabouts) has red eyes.

  I was just stepping outside yesterday morning, carrying the garbage in one hand, a sack of trash for the garage in the other and I happened to straddle this insect unseen. He fired up his buzz-saw right at that point and I almost proved that I was capable to reaching the kitchen roof without benefit of a ladder.
 But then I thought: "Photo opportunity!".
 I came back out with the Canon, knelt down on the concrete floor, set the lens to macro and pushed it close to the insect. He stayed there while I took this single shot.
 Later that day I found a spent shell near the rolled garden hose, mere feet awy. It might have been the same. It might not, of course.
 I any case, photography allows for an up close look at the greenish-black body, the black-veined wings, the bulbous eyes with a single central pupil. It is like examining an alien.

Later: Here's a shot taken 08/14/12 of another Harvestfly. He sat there while I took this shot and then, when I tried to take a second shot from above, he fired up that buzz and I stood up just as quickly, sure that he was going to fly up the open leg of my shorts! He became airborne, flew off to the south, while I finished a most peculiar looking dance on the porch.

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