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Photo Information
Copyright: Chris Chafer (sandpiper2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-01
Categories: Insects
Camera: Pentax K100D Super, Sigma 70-300 DG Macro, Digital ISO-400, Matin 58mm UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-24 2:49
Viewed: 3397
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi friends, something different from me today.
I was walking past this small pond in Townsville Common Conservation Park when these water beetles attracted my attention. I watched them for a while and though Iíve never seen those guys before and grabbed a couple of quick shots.
Later at home, I noticed the varied colours and how they were gathering together in groups as if chatting to each other. It reminded me of kids in a schoolyard, gathering in little groups to talk and giggle. Or, I suppose it could be groups of like-minded souls at a conference on global warmingÖ.. you know what I mean (I hope).
Iím afraid I canít offer much on their identification. Iím guessing that they are water beetles from the family Dytiscidae or Gyrinidae or Hydrophilidae. They were about 20mm in length.
So if any of you can help with the identification; that would be great.
Thanks for looking.

Argus, SelenE, LordPotty, horia, albert has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cicindela: thankssandpiper2 1 10-24 04:08
To Argus: thankssandpiper2 1 10-24 04:07
To Argus: thankssandpiper2 1 10-24 04:05
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-24 3:24]
  • [+]

Hello Chris,
A great posting that must be new for TN!
These are Whirligig Beetles (Macrogyrus spp). They are gregarious as this image suggests and they feed on dead and live insects floating on the surface. As the name suggests they swim in rapid wild circles when disturbed. Their eyes are divided to be able to see abve and below the surface.
TFS this delight,
Have a good weekend,

Hi Chris!
Ivan is right, these are members of Gyrinidae family, easy to recognize thatnks to characteristic body shape and occurring in such huge aggregations on the water level. By the way, did you know that these beetles have four eyes? Two are looking what is going on under the water level (to be sure that no fish or other water predator is comming), and two others are looking "in the sky" (to be sure that no flying predator is comming) :)
All the best and thank you for showing such unique picture of aquatic beetle community!

Hi Chris,
This is pretty cool! from the thumbnail I thought it was a microscopic slide image but clicked on only to find out it was a congregation of water beetles. TFS.
Pauil :)

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-10-24 4:32]

Hi Chris,
What an interesting and colorful group. Never seen them before. Thanks for this unusual contribution.
Have a nice weekend,

Hi Chris,
I've never seen anything quite likethis either.
They do look as though they're congregating in groups.
Interesting,as I had always thought that water beetles were solitary.
A great image.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-24 5:43]

Hello Chris,
Indeed a very special photo. Wonderful composition in forms and colours. Good sharpness.
In dutch we call them: little writers. It's like they form letters on the water all the time.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-10-24 9:16]

Hi Chris,finally something to different on TN! Great idea and perfect realisation,excellents details and colors,thanks for share,have a nice weekend,Luciano

Bonjour Chris,
I have never seen these insects before! This is a very interesting post. They are unusual and beautiful creatures and you captured excellent details with nice texture and brilliance. Thanks for this educative post.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-10-24 13:19]

Hi Chris

This is indeed a very original capture, my friend!
Nice to see something really new and very interesting, as well.
These little beetles are indeed very beautiful with their colors and metallic reflections but i think it's their number is the dazzling part :) Some of them have come together to make a star shape (closer to the upper right corner) and such nice surprises are worth searching with a better examination of the shot.
Perhaps a bit more DOF wouldn't have hurt here, but this is nit picking really...so don't worry about that too much. It's also something very subjective. Maybe some like it this way :)

Bravo and TFS

Well seen Chris
This a very original feature! great composition with nice pastel colours

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