A Tired Visitor

Narcissus Bulb Fly Merodon equestris

This hoverfly, the Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris), must have been a tired fellow, for I found him quite still and resting on the arm of one of my garden chairs earlier this morning. His wings looked a little worse for wear and quite worn out. He must have done a fair few air miles.

Narcissus Bulb Fly Merodon equestris

Narcissus Bulb Fly Merodon equestris

Narcissus Bulb Fly Merodon equestris


Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.

32 thoughts on “A Tired Visitor

    1. Thank you, Marilyn πŸ™‚ I think he was too tired, or even snoozing, to be bothered with the likes of me πŸ™‚

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    1. Being this close the depth of field is very shallow so you have to be selective with the focus. Even though I narrowed the aperture to f/16 I wasn’t going to get it all in focus unless I focus stacked, and to do that I need a tripod and the sofwear. But I got his eyes and his, oh yes, feet in there πŸ™‚

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      1. Thank you πŸ™‚ It’s not the extra work, but I can’t be fussed with lugging a tripod around with me. By the time you have set it up, and fought with it in bushes and whatever, your subject has already gone before your very eyes. I am very much in the moment with my camera.

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  1. Wonderful Pete – the front view could scare a person – HA Love his feet. Yep, we all have to rest now and then.

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  2. Nice photos Pete, given your expertise on insects I hope you don’t mind if I ask what the disks in front of the Hover Flies eyes do and their proper name.

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    1. Thank you, Mike πŸ™‚ The two lighter patches are rear curtain flash caught on the compound eye structure. The lighting wasn’t good, and in fact it began to rain as I took this last image, so flash was a go go, especially as the aperture was narrowed to f/16, ISO 1000 and being handheld. Directly in front of the eyes and out of focus to some degree because of the shallow depth of field is the fly’s antennae, and just above those are 3 bumps forming a small triangle which are its ocelli, simple eyes which detect changes in light and movement. I bet you wished you hadn’t asked, now πŸ™‚

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      1. Thanks, it is nice to have those parts pointed out. In the last photo I can clearly see those compound eyes. Amazing to think what the vision of insects with multiple sets of eyes must look like. Thanks for taking the time to explain all this.

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      2. No problem, Mike. Thank you for your interest. I remember seeing a programme on insect eyes some years ago, and the makers had set up cameras to try and simulate how their world might look. It looked kind a weird.

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      3. I find learning about how all these different beings on this planet have adapted and created differ organs and sensory methods to make things work in the world. Thanks and I may have a moth ID question for you as soon as I can get a photo of this little guy hanging out in our garden.

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      4. Nature is indeed sucha wonderful thing, MIke. I will give your moth id a go when you get a snap of it.

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  3. I’m so new at insect identification that I probably would have looked at this and thought it a bee. That’s one reason I love your blog as I do — it’s easier to learn these little creatures if you can take them one at a time, with great photos. I’m really fond of that first photo. It evoked a good bit of sympathy, which doesn’t always happen where flies are concerned!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Linda. I really appreciate it πŸ™‚ A lot of hoverflies are bee or wasp mimics, so even I have to look twice sometimes when I see them πŸ™‚ The pros say you should take photos of pristine subjects in macro, whether they are flowers or insects. I agree with it to a certain degree, but I sometimes think these imperfections add character and tell a story. To evoke sympathy for a fly, which I admitt I have felt it also, especially when it began to rain down as it was resting, I feel I have accomplished something more than just a photo, so thank you again πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you very much, Jill πŸ™‚ Yes, some flies are so good at disguising themselves as bees or even wasps that they can be hard to distinguish at times.

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