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Evil Weevil | by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel
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Evil Weevil

Weevil is the common name for certain beetles of the snout beetle family (Curculionidae) -- small, usually dull-colored, hard-bodied insects, very common.The mouthparts of snout beetles are modified into down-curved snouts, or beaks, adapted for boring into plants; the jaws are at the end of the snout. I always think they look like a mini elephant myself. The bent antennae usually project from the middle of the snout. The largest weevils are about 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, with the average length being about 1/4 in. (0.6 cm). This one was about 4mm in length so you're looking at between half and 1 mm worth of weevil. Weevils come in an assortment of bright colors but are remarkably small and hard to see. The snout varies greatly in length among the different species; in the curculios, or nut weevils, it may be longer than the body.

 

Many weevils are damaging to crops. The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) damages stored grain. Weevils can be found in dry foods including nuts and seeds, cereal and grain products, such as pancake mix. In the domestic setting, they are most likely to be observed when a bag of flour is opened. Their presence is often indicated by the granules of the infested item sticking together in strings, as if caught in a cobweb. But, all in all, weevils are a rare occurrence in the British home. They can be removed and the area sanitised with ease. Weevils in the garden, however, can cause serious damage, especially in the early summer months when grubs are hungry and seeking food. They can become a problem if left untreated. Weevils are harmless to humans. In fact the weevil family has more species in it than any other group of organisms: about 50,000 species. You can find weevils almost everywhere but especially by looking underneath leaves in the springtime evening or by noticing signs of damage to plants. Or, as was the case with us, old birdseed at the bottom of a container in the piggery outside (shed), it was crawling with these.

 

Technical: Technical: BG output onto SmallHD via HDMI matrix used as background; rear curtain sync .8s exposures; 304 photos into 37 sub stacks, retouched from Dmap composite, finished off with CS4, NoiseNinja & Topaz Detail. Step size of 5µm, polystyrene chip cone diffuser. Resized to reduce noise, cropped to 4:3 for emphasis. Shot made using Nikon microscope CFI BE 10X NA 0.25 8 Plan objective, in front of Pentax SMC-M 100mm & Pz-AF 1.5 TC combo == ~ 7.5:1; 3 flashes @1/64 perpendicular @3,6 &6 o clock. I should have of course used a 200mm tube but I don't happen to have one so had to settle for a TC instead. The original stack had the bottom legs in focus too but I retouched from another frame to take them out of focus and bring the antennae into sharper visibility. Worked ok but a trickier exercise than I expected... needs some work I think. You will also notice that this is as usual, and as usually annoying, marginally off centre, a fraction of a degree or so. One day I will find time to complete the universal stage that I almost have the parts for. Using a hacked off microscope to move up and down is ok but doesn't give me that 7 axis posing contraption that would really help me..

 

Link to large version. Not so big as usual to try and reduce noise, not sure how well this works really. I may need to cough up for a Pentax K5 which isn't as noisy in the darks, it's still a bit of an issue on the Pentax K7 I think. Annoying. Anyone have a used one without sensor stain they want to sell? farm9.staticflickr.com/8026/7371464950_eb659cbc4c_o.jpg

 

Update 2013 - if you're interested in taking pictures like this, I've put together a fairly comprehensive overview at extreme-macro.co.uk/ of prettymuch everything you need. This is a completely non commercial site, I'm not trying to sell you anything and it's brand-agnostic. Good luck :)

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Taken on June 13, 2012