Creepy to the nth Degree

This gallery contains 5 photos. Nothing evokes creepiness as well as the members of the insect world. Cold, calculating, and chilling are a few more adjectives that have been ascribed to these bug-eyed beasts, who are proof that ownership of big black orbs doesn’t guarantee cuteness. In no particular order, here are five contenders who vie for the kingship of creep.

Yellowjacket. Although a useful pollinator, this easily recognizable creepy critter isn’t likely to have a large fanbase. Its black and bright yellow colours telegraph its dangerous nature. It has a nasty sting, and has been known to sample hummingbird nectar as well.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: CreepyI wasn’t that close to my subject, but I was close enough. Taken on May 7.
f/8, 1/1000, 100 mm macro lens, 100 mm, ISO 1250

Dragonfly. This golden skimmer is, with a maniacal grin, busy digesting what looks like a bee or a wasp, while clinging to a bamboo stake in the backyard. In reality, though, dragonflies are highly beneficial insects; I am happy to have them helicoptering around the backyard in the summertime.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: CreepyA tasty afternoon snack for a FOY Golden Skimmer. Taken on May 10.
f/8, 1/1000, 100 mm macro lens, 100 mm, ISO 400, flash on

Shieldbug. Don’t make the mistake of swatting this fellow — less you really want to raise a stink with the impact. Shieldbugs (also known as stinkbugs) are so named for the shield shape (what looks to me like a chalice) on the backs of their carapaces.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: CreepyPhotographed in the sunroom, this shield bug is the size of a thumbnail. Taken on May 12.
f/8, 1/125, 100 mm macro lens, 100 mm, ISO 400, flash on

Dronefly. The proboscis is something straight out of the Vincent Price sci-fi thriller The Fly, but the dronefly (aka hoverfly) is actually a beneficial insect that keeps destructive insects in check in your garden. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them hover in place (like hummingbirds) over flowers.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: CreepyHoverfly on the purple azalea. Taken on May 20.
f/11, 1/500, 100 mm macro lens, 100 mm, ISO 400, flash on

Ladybug larva. Those are painful-looking spikes on the back of this little monster. Leave them alone, though; ladybugs, especially the voracious larva, do their part in keeping the aphid population down.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy Look but don’t touch! Those spikes really are nasty looking and feeling. Taken on June 4.
f/8, 1/500, 100 mm macro lens, 100 mm, ISO 400, flash on

See more examples of this Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Creepy here.

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69 thoughts on “Creepy to the nth Degree

  1. You are a brave soul to even get within a 100mm lens of a yellow jacket; that’s one bug that sends me scurrying. But I do love dragonflies. Thanks for the photo of the ladybug larva — I’ve only ever seen the adults and had never thought to wonder what their earlier stage might look like!

    Liked by 1 person

    • brave, or incredibly foolish. 😉

      I remember using a borrowed point-and-shoot not too long before that, to shoot both yellowjacket and a bald-faced hornet. I was practically on top of both my subjects. fortunately, neither stung me.

      dragonflies are cute. I’ve got to post the photo of the Scarlet Meadowhawk dragonfly who smiled for me this summer sometime! 🙂

      ladybug larva are the oddest things! I’d never thought they could metamorphosize into such a rotund creature! of course, I say the same thing about caterpillars and butterflies. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh…yellowjackets…talk about a bad tempered lot. I’m fairly allergic to their stings, too. And, I’ve got a dead one floating inside my hummingbird feeder to attest to the fact that they are partial to that (and any and all) sweet stuff.

    I wonder if that’s the larva of a native or Asiatic ladybug? The Asiatic ones are nasty. They bite and they exude a musty stench if you touch or swat at them. They also tend to try to hibernate in our homes. Our neighbors had an Amityville House type horrific experience.

    Aside from that, super cool photos! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you, Teresa!

      funny you should mention that! I also found a dead yellowjacket floating inside one of my hummingbird feeders a few weeks ago! serves them right for drinking what shouldn’t be theirs to drink! (of course, I say that, and the Black-Capped Chickadees do the same all the time!!) right now, though, it’s the bald-faced hornets who are gorging on the nectar feeders (I have to give the feeders a spin from time to time to get them to buzz off). thank goodness we have enough flowers and other nectar feeders that they can’t be everywhere!

      I hope it’s not an Asian Ladybug, but it certainly looks the larva of one! (knock on wood, we’ve never had a problem with them in the house … the many fruit trees in the backyard provide all the nutrition and diversion they need)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve not had much problem with hornets but I think everyone in my family has been stung by a yellowjacket at least once. 😛 I’m not going to put out any more sugar water for the hummingbirds. Like you, we have a lot of flowers that the hummingbirds can go to and I don’t want to attract yellowjackets if I can help it.

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      • clearly it isn’t a life threatening allergy, or else we wouldn’t be having this conversation!! 🙂

        I once got stung by a horsefly and my left hand swelled up like a balloon!

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Yeah, not life-threatening, thank goodness, but that part of the body does swell up disproportionately and stays swelled for weeks.

        Ouch! Poor you! Many of our neighbors have horses and the horseflies are horrendous here. A deer walked by the front of our house a few days ago; we were able to see her from the upstairs window and saw that she was covered (like 20 of them!) with horseflies. Gah!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Horses are really bothered by the horseflies, of course, but now we know that deer are, too. We usually consider deer vermin (because they will treat our garden like a buffet even though we have acre upon acre of tasty other plants for them), but we did feel very sorry for this poor animal. Those horseflies were like leeches!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t consider deer vermin, even though I know they have a documented propensity to wreak havoc on gardens … simply because I’ve met so few of them! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        I probably wouldn’t say the same of black bears, though! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would rather have deer than bears in my garden, that’s for sure! My cousin’s MIL lives in West Vancouver so I know it’s not uncommon for folks on the North Shore for black bears to come meandering through and helping themselves to everything. Deer can be dangerous (they will charge you during rutting season), but not as much as bears!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess you’ve seen that news piece on the black bear using a North Vancouver homeowner’s swimming pool and hottub. knocked down the fence to access the amenities. apparently a repeat offender! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think I did see that! Oh, my goodness…like I said, I complain about deer, but I will take them any day over bears.

        That said, our neighbors once found a deer treading water in their in-ground pool, unable to get out. I forget if they had to call in professional help or if they managed to get it out themselves somehow.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. These insects are terrific. Just don’t post any spider close ups if you want me to sleep at night. I find insects very interesting and mean to get a macro lens to go after them. Funny I thought macro would be my first real lens purchase but then I discovered birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful pictures! I had no idea there was such a thing as ladybug larvae. Lovely detail and lighting on the hoverfly – those little hairs are so cute. I’ve never seen it so big and in such detail. Feels like another world :-). If I could find a shrinking potion like Alice… Then the yellowjacket would be truly terrifying!!!

    Liked by 1 person

Your comments are like chocolate for my soul ... I can never get enough of them! Bonus brownie points for witty comments! I love a good turn of phrase. :)

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