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A fly with leg warmers

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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I like to think some of my photographs succeed for the technical skill and artistry I put into them. Others, it almost doesn’t matter what I do. The subject itself is so compelling I just need to point the camera in the right direction and shoot. Such is the case with this Brazilian crane fly:

A crane fly from Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

I can only speculate as to the function of the fly’s leg-warmers. The structures might serve to signal to potential mates, or perhaps to confuse aerial predators. I rather doubt they were intended to attract naturalists and photographers, but they certainly work well in that capacity.


photo details:
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 200, f/13, 1/250 sec
diffuse off-camera twin flash

Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is an Illinois-based entomologist who studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books, and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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