Delta flower beetle (Trigonopeltastes delta)
These colorful insects are in the scarab beetle family (Scarabaeidae) and as their common name suggests can be found on and around flowers because they feed on decomposing fruits and pollen. They are considered an important pollinator throughout their range from central Texas to New Jersey and as far south as the Florida Keys.
These were very flighty and fast, but luckily I encountered some that were preoccupied with mating so I was able to get some close shots! The windy conditions certainly didn't help at all either 🙃
I was wading through a wetland yesterday after a storm rolled through and saw this absolute unit of an orbweaver! From the front of the cephalothorax to the rear of the abdomen was a little over an inch long (>2.5cm) on this yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia).
She had four dragonflies captured already! In the second picture, notice the tiny spider near the top of the screen. This is one of many kleptoparasitic spiders that were hanging out in her web. I posted about these tiny dewdrop spiders (Argyrodes sp) a few weeks ago if you'd like to see closer shots of one.
I was kneeling in about 2 feet of water in chest waders to get these shots. I often kneel to stabilize a little better as my setup doesn't have image stabilization. It takes a lot of patience to get a shot like the first one here with a live spider because the focal plane is so thin at such a magnification and the combination of no image stabilization, a slight breeze moving the web, the spider potentially moving or shifting, and often mosquitoes biting me as I'm trying to get the shots. In the end I feel that it'ss usually worth the effort! I hope you all enjoy the closeups! 😁