Gray Eyes, Jade Eyes

Reminder:  You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full-screen image.

I continue to be astonished by what I see when I look closely at the insect world. There’s a surreal quality to it: on close inspection virtually nothing is as it appears to be to the naked and untutored eye.

The other day I revisited some of the blooming globe mallow plants at Sabino Canyon.  I wondered if there were other species visiting these plants besides the few species of bees and bugs that I had seen and photographed previously.

The answer was emphatically yes.  The more I look at these mallow plants the more insect species I find.  Such as this bee with inexplicably smoky gray eyes.

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I have no idea why this bee has such distinctively colored eyes, but those eyes definitely give the insect an unusual appearance.

That discovery alone would have made my day but it was soon topped with another one.  This next insect, a sweat bee, probably, has extraordinary jade green eyes.  Now, that is truly unique and beautiful.

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I suppose that these amazing eye colors could have evolved as a form of camouflage.  Or, as a means of attracting mates.   But, whatever the evolutionary basis for these remarkably-colored eyes, they are spectacular!

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Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT flash, ISO 125, “M” setting.  The first image shot at f16 @ 1/160.  The final two images shot at f/10 @ 1/160.

One response to “Gray Eyes, Jade Eyes”

  1. Liesl Kii says :

    With these close ups you can also see how affectionately the bee curls around the stamen and pistil of the mallow.

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