Catherine and I have been in Vancouver for a few days, catching up on some school-related business at SFU, and saying hello to our friends. We made a special trip on Sunday to say hello to Stanley Park with our friend Samantha Vibert, and here is what we saw!
Samantha with a juvenile Araneus diadematus. Shortly after this shot was taken, the spider ballooned right off her finger!
A Golden-crowned Sparrow.
A bright eyed and eager-looking Towhee!
This long-jawed orbweaver was tricky to capture with a non-black background, as I had forgotten to charge my second speedlight’s batteries.
A red velvet mite looking red and velvety, which they like to do.
Ensatina! ensatina! (That is how you spell it right?)
A mystery egg sac. Any ideas what it could be?
Amaurobiids are extremely abundant in the old firs and cedars of Stanley Park (and everywhere on the coast).
This one has a cool-looking carapace.
Catherine doing some knitting on a gorgeous spring day.
Doing these high speed videos has been a real eye-opener for me. I am amazed at how slowing down the movements of even common insects brings forth a new world to marvel at. It is reminiscent of the feeling of being a new macro photographer and just photographing insects constantly for the wonder of it all*.
So, the title refers tho the fact that every arthropod in this post displays some degree of hopping, skipping or jumping.
We start with a froghopper, the familiar Meadow Spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius. This insect, when disturbed, takes off at such a high rate that I had to record it at 6400 fps, and even then it was not totally frozen in each frame! I love the spiralling trajectory of these bulletlike insects.
This next video will show you exactly why a skipper (a butterfly in the family Hesperiiidae) is called a Skipper. These butterflies actually skip every few wingbeats, which gives their flight a real unpredictable jerkiness that likely helps them evade predators.
The following videos show a few examples of Neuropterans jumping as they take off, affording them a clear area for the downstroke of their relatively massive wings. The Green Lacewings are often referred to as “fairylike” in the appearance of their flight, as their light wing loading and bright colors make them seem like little winged sprites.
I really wanted to shoot a grasshopper hopping, but for some reason there seems to be a real lack of them (perhaps they are suffering due to our month-long drought in Vancouver)! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the videos. Let me know which you think is the coolest!
*actually, I am still in that phase!