Mosquito larvae and pupae lifecycle - extreme macro, Heesch, Netherlands
Here's a prime example of a pretty bad idea achieving a goal I didn't even know I had. Or let's just call it luck.
In another post, Christine encouraged me to look for mosquito eggs/larvae in still waters. So I took the lazy approach, one of my two small ponds in the garden is in the shade and wind-free, and I actually found some there.
I just poured some of them into a glass. That was the easy part. Next, extreme macro poses a huge challenge here since the water moves, subjects move, which again causes the water to move. Surely the scene isn't static enough to do a deep stack, which typically takes at least 5 minutes to run and require the subject to not even move by 1 mm, or even 0.1mm.
Out of desperation to at least capture something, I went for it anyway, and the outcome I think is pretty hilarious. To describe what's going on:
- There's 3 larvae in the scene. One is in the bottom half of the image swimming around, the stack process creating multiple exposures of its movement.
- The other 2 larvae are attached to the water surface. They use siphon tubes to breath, hanging upside down. You can see the multiple exposures hinting at their movement when attached.
- There's 1.5 pupae in the scene, the big creature hanging upside down. In this phase it doesn't feed yet it's not immobile. When disturbing the water, it instantly sinks to the bottom. And back up again when it's safe.
- In the top right is a single water flea interacting with a mosquito larva.
This entire scene is just about 1cm wide, a tiny section of a glass. As a casual observation, in the few hours I was busy with this glass, 3 pupae transformed into adults and flew away.
More to come later :)
''Culex pipiens'' is a species of blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. It is a vector of some diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and urticaria. In the US and parts of Europe, it can spread West Nile virus, and in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, it has been demonstrated to be a vector of Usutu virus.