Female Ommatius Robber Fly

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    Make sure to click here to view the larger image as Flickr's resizing creates moiré artifacts and dulls the brilliance of the compound eyes!

    This beautiful little Ommatius female caught my eye one miserably hot day last August while I was fruitlessly chasing Holcocephala robbers around a swampy area. She seemed to be relatively unfazed by my presence and was perched atop a secure stick in the shade, so I decided to try for a few shots. After carefully clearing a little spot to sit near her and upon noticing how cooperative she was, I proceeded to spend the next hour watching her hunt. Due to my soft spot for the Holcocephala robbers of this area, I’d largely overlooked these pretty little (~11mm) asilids that occupy the same areas up until this encounter. She was an absolute joy to watch and photograph – leaping from her perch constantly only to reappear at the exact same perch seconds later – each time with a new pierced captive. She was so fast I could never see where she was going, but her lightning quick hunts always seemed to be successful. These Ommatius species must have fantastic vision.

    As of writing this, I’m not quite sure which species she is – I’ve read that the only definitive way to identify robbers within this genus is to analyze the genitalia of male specimens. Visually, they all look quite similar to me. Here’s a great page from Herschel Raney with a bit of an introduction to Ommatius robbers: www.hr-rna.com/RNA/Rfly Another thing worth pointing out – the compound eyes were a beautiful deep metallic green to my eyes in the sunlight, but somehow my diffused flash picked up the reddish hue you see in the eyes above and below. Maybe I’ll have to try a combination of natural light and a fill-flash should I attempt to photograph this species again next summer. The image above is a crop from a focus stack of about 6 images taken with the 50mm reversed on a set of extension tubes.

    Sorry about the infrequent uploads – I’ve been quite busy lately and after all it is winter here. Currently it’s about 10° F and windy in Oklahoma. If you’re interested in more things Thomas, head on over to my artwork account here: www.flickr.com/panbasket

    ...or if you’re really bored, I use this account for just documenting vintage illustrations: www.flickr.com/49580580@N02/

    ann jenkins, and 707 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. PHOTOGRAPHY by TL 19 months ago | reply

      grandiose .... just fantastic

    2. Trevor Dennis 16 months ago | reply

      Thomas, I am truly in awe or this and all your pictures. Today I turned an old enlarger into a copy stand, and with a Canon 100mm macro lens on a full set of extension rings, I thought I was ready to take some close ups. It took no time at all to realise that I was not going to achieve any sort of magnification with this, so quickly went from deciding to get a set of bellows, to wondering if the lens that I'd taken off the enlarger might work, to finding so much new information about microphotography that was totally new to me.

      And when I soak up all this information, and practice practice practice, how am I ever going to get remotely close to results like yours? How do you get that depth of field? How did you light it? How did you see it well enough to even focus in the first place? All retorical questions that I will labour to answer for myself. Meanwhile I'll swing by your stream now and again for inspiration, and hope against hope that I can one day come close to your results.

    3. RLWilsonPhotography 16 months ago | reply

      What lens was used? Great shot

    4. gailhampshire 16 months ago | reply

      Another amazing photo.

    5. Aiza Castillo-Domingo 15 months ago | reply

      absolutely stunning (and quite scary too! haha)

    6. manszar 14 months ago | reply

      great shot

    7. zosxavius 14 months ago | reply

      wow, another pentaxian. :)

      this picture is amazing. these are exactly the kinds of insect pictures I want to try taking. I love the subdued lighting here.

    8. zosxavius 14 months ago | reply

      whoah...i just read the description again and realized this was focus stacked. i'm guessing you use some kind of macro rail. I would love to see your setup sometime. The patience needed to get this one picture is quite impressive.

    9. w0wz0mb11 10 months ago | reply

      Tell me please what's your lens and camera

    10. Howard Brodsky 8 months ago | reply

      Fabulous shot !!!!!!!!!!!

      Hi, I am Howard, a Head Administrator and lead Art Director for a NEW special incredible Gallery called "PEG" ...PLATINUM EXCELLENCE GALLERY!!!!!

      It is is my personal pleasure to state that your brilliance on this photo is unbelievable, incredible, and highly acceptable to our professional standards of "PEG', which represents the finest eclectic group of images on Flickr. We truly hope that you take the time to post your magnificent photo to our Gallery, and we look forward to seeing it with us in "PEG"." "Where the finest images call Home".

      Please look for an "Admin Invite" beneath your photograph.
      If this is just a comment of appreciation on your work in the gallery, then there will be NO admin invite accompanying this display of recognition…Thank you……..Howard .

      "PEG" Approval by Howard Brodsky.

    11. hako211 6 months ago | reply

      you'll be mine hehe

    12. matej.vasicek 2 months ago | reply

      sooo beautiful quality :-o

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