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.
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
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he 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.