Mad Max

It was another very rainy day, and having exhausted my supply of indoor casualties flowers yesterday, I had to brave the weather this afternoon and squelch around the garden, photographing things with raindrops on. One of these was a young quince fruit (quincelet?), which didn’t work especially well as a subject, but while I was processing the file I realised that I’d overlooked a fabulous shieldbug nymph on a nearby leaf. So back out I went, and to my relief the nymph was still there. When I stuck the macro in its face it reacted with disfavour and removed itself to the back of the leaf, but sadly for the nymph it’s still flightless, and I have opposable thumbs. However, once I’d turned the leaf over and taken its portrait (leaf in one hand and camera in the other, please note) I turned it back and left the poor thing to recover its composure.

The adult Forest Bug (or Red-legged Shieldbug, as some people prefer to call it), is quite drab, though it’s handsome enough in a saturnine kind of way. But its nymphs are terrific, I think, with an exoskeleton that seems to fall somewhere between a scalloped pie crust and the armour from a dystopian fantasy film: Star Wars maybe, or possibly Mad Max. As I noted when I posted the adult, Forest Bugs suck sap from a range of trees – presumably including this quince – and therefore they’re not exactly the gardener’s friend; but as I’m not exactly a gardener, the nymph has nothing to fear from me.

R and I both havered over my photos this evening, struggling to decide between this shot and the one I’ve posted to the extras, which is a tiny (unidentified) spider on a developing wild carrot umbel. That’s a more unusual photo for me, and would work better for Flower Friday, but in the end I simply couldn’t resist featuring Mad Max.