Aphid and the body snatcher

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Charles Krebs
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Aphid and the body snatcher

Post by Charles Krebs »

Tough life being an aphid. One minute you're with your buddies, living La Vita Loca, sucking up the juice from those pretty roses...
... and the next thing you know you're like the disposable character in an Alien movie, just waiting for the creature inside to break out!:roll:

On a rose bush in my backyard I found several aphids in the same condition as seen in the top photo. It has been parasitized by another insect (possibly a Braconid wasp, they were frequent visitors to these roses).

After taking the first photo I did a little aphid necropsy to see the organism within. I'm not that good at micro-surgery, and at this stage the aphid has become rather brittle, but I was able to cut open the side and reveal the "body-snatcher". This is seen in the lower photo.

Both shots: Nikon D200, bellows and Canon 35/2.8 micro lens. Stacked with Helicon Focus

Image


Image
Last edited by Charles Krebs on Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

This is an astounding pair of photos Charles! You can operate on me anytime, Doctor! :o
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

YES!!!! :smt023 :smt038

An awesome display of both photographic excellence and interesting biology. Thanks, Charlie! :D

--Rik

Bruce Williams
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Post by Bruce Williams »

Charlie - You just keep raising the bar on macro photography - it's now reaching the point where I need to pop a couple of vertigo tablets before checking out your postings :lol:

The technical excellence of these images goes without saying, however for me they are even more striking as a powerful illustration of the nature of insect parasitization.

Awesome!!!

Bruce

Sven Bernert
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Post by Sven Bernert »

Well, I'm running out of superlatives! I've never seen anything like this before in terms of macro photography (maybe except of Danny's white whale). Respect Charles, this is one stunning photograph.
Bruce Williams wrote:The technical excellence of these images goes without saying, however for me they are even more striking as a powerful illustration of the nature of insect parasitization.
What Bruce said!

Best,
Sven

EDIT: Q: Charles, is this ("Photomicrography setup II" on your website) your current setup?
If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it. - Jay Maisel

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Amazing Charles! :D
Canon 35/2.8 micro lens? What the heck is that? This is more than 1:1 magnification, right? :?
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Nikola,

See:-

http://www.macrolenses.de/objektive.php ... eff6f07b2a

Sorry I can't find a picture but here are similar Macro Nikkors:-

http://www.macrolenses.de/start.php?lang=en

These are microscope like lenses for high magnifications, usually used on bellows.

You may also find the following useful as you have now defected to Canon:-

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/canonFAQ.htm#2Q1

DaveW

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

MacroLuv wrote:Canon 35/2.8 micro lens? What the heck is that? This is more than 1:1 magnification, right? :?
Oddly enough, I believe that Mike B just today posted a link to someone selling one of these lenses. See http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=2819 . I use the Olympus equivalents. They are short-focus lenses, corrected for high magnifications and intended to be used on bellows with long extensions. The Olympus 38mm is designed for magnifications between 1.7× and 8×, using of course a bellows with extension much longer than the lens FL.

--Rik

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

:smt119 :smt023 Eye popping, jaw dropping photography and science Charles. Simply "INCREDIBLE"
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

Yeah! =D>
Charles - I am running out of superlatives too, but to depict my delight:
It´s one of these shots where I have to quickly grab hold of my desk in order to prevent me from toppling backwards off my chair. :D

As you wrote, it could be an ichneumonoid wasp larva. I remember having seen such bronze coloured mummies after an Aphidius sp. had oviposited into the aphids.
Now, I am not saying that this is an Aphidius larva. But Aphidius spp. are commercially produced for use as biological control agents against aphids in agriculture, hence for further information Aphidius is a good keyword for search engines.

Cheers,
Betty

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

The only trouble with biological control is it does not eliminate the problem, only reduce it. They sold some insects for controlling mealy bugs in greenhouses, but of course the predator prey relationship achieves a ballance eventually so enough prey remain to support the predator level.

The advantage of chemicals to plant fanciers with greenhouses are they can kill them all and eradicate the problem, at least until you inevitably introduce the problem back from new introductions to your collection.

DaveW

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Thanks all for the kind remarks. After some additional "googling" I think I need to correct some misinformation I gave about the the life cycle "biology" of parasitic wasps. This paragraph describes it in excellent fashion:
L. testaceipes overwinters as a grub or pupa inside a parasitized aphid. The newly emerged wasp mates, and then begins to search for new aphids to attack. The female wasp inserts an egg into the greenbug and in about 2 days a tiny wasp grub hatches and feeds internally on the living aphid. The wasp grub completes feedings in about 6-8 days, resulting in the death of the aphid. Movement of the wasp grub inside the aphid expands the aphid, giving it a swollen appearance. The larva cuts a hole in the bottom of the aphid, attaches the aphid to a leaf with silk and a glue, and the dead greenbug changes color from green to a brown "mummy". Then the wasp grub molts to the pupal stage, and after 4-5 days a wasp emerges by cutting a circular hole in the top of the mummy.
From: http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/bioco ... lebus.html
(This may not be the species seen here, but I believe the life cycle would be similar for other small parasitic wasps)

On a couple of the "mummies" I observed, I could see that there was some substance that "attached" the aphid to the leaf. (Can't see it in the above photos however). This is mentioned in the above quote. I find this "detail" fascinating. It also explains why these dead aphids adhere so tenaciously to the leaf.
Q: Charles, is this ("Photomicrography setup II" on your website) your current setup?
Sven... that's my current microscope set-up. These shots were taken with different equipment.
I've still got the set-up I used for these pictures on the table top, so perhaps I'll take and post a quick snapshot that might answer a few questions.

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Dave and Rik, thanks for great info and very useful links. :D
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

Charles Krebs
Posts: 5859
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 pm
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
Contact:

Post by Charles Krebs »

Nikola... the center lens in this shot is the 35mm Canon macro used. On either side are two other lenses I often use on a bellows. To the left is a Minolta 12.5mm f2, and to the right is a 50mm f2.5 El Nikkor that I use reverse mounted. In the background you can see a few of the diffusers I use with these lenses. I took a few shots of the tabletop "macro" setup I use and will start a new subject over in the technique section... don't want to get too far off track here in the photo section.:wink:

(I'll edit this message and add that link when I post it)


edited... here's the link to the detailed setup:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 6601#16601


Image
Last edited by Charles Krebs on Sat Jun 30, 2007 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Is the EL Nikkor reverse mounted using a BR-2A ring?

Dave Whiteley

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