Tiger Beetles

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! We have been super busy and I am tired at the end of the day. I have lots of tree pictures and information to post when I can get a chance!

We recently had an opportunity to visit Oak Creek near the Page Springs Fish Hatchery where I found a nice population of Cicindela oregona maricopatiger beetles. They were along the creek bank mating and ovipositing. In A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of hte United States and Canada, Pearson (et al) states that distinct individuals of this form are confined to southeastern and central Arizona and that intergrades with guttifera are common in southwestern Utah and with navajoensis in southwestern New Mexico. 

I decided to try some photos with my standard 24-85mm lens and the 25mm extension tube (remember, my 100mm macro lens is still on a field trip to Colombia, South America!). I did some fairly extensive cropping, but that is where the Canon 5D MkII’s 21mp sensor really comes in handy (there is still plenty of resolution to spare!). Here is a shot of the female laying eggs:

Cicindela oregona maricopa female ovipositing.

I watched this female dig a depression with her rear end, obviously lay an egg, and then cover the hole with soil using her rear end. The photo is during the time she was laying the egg. It was an interesting process to watch!

I didn’t use a flash on this shot, there was very nice filtered sunlight coming down on the main area of beetle activity. The depth of field as well as the focus were critical, and I ended up with a number of unusable shots, but I was very pleased with this picture. It is my best tiger beetle photo to date. Click on the image to see a larger version!