And the winner is…

Okay, time to fess up on which of my photos was selected for the 2013 ESA World of Insects Calendar, but before I do let me say that getting readers’ comments on which one they thought was selected proved to be a very interesting exercise. The final tally is as follows (I gave ½ a vote for mentions of a photo as a second choice):

1. Trimerotropis saxatilis nymph – 4½ votes
2. Crossidius coralinus fulgidus – 3½ votes
3. Tetracha floridana – 3 votes
4. Buprestis rufipes – 2 votes
4. Edessa meditabunda eggs – 2 votes
6. Megaphasma denticrus – 1 vote

My personal favorites were Buprestis rufipes, Crossidius coralinus fulgidus and Tetracha floridana, with the second having what I thought was the best “calendar appeal.” I also thought the Trimerotropis saxatilis was strong for its natural history back story. It thus comes as no surprise that these were the top four vote-getters among those who commented.

The two photos that did not receive any votes are interesting—Spissistilus festinus, because the post containing that photo is one of the Top 5 posts on this blog (based on page views); and Cicindela formosa generosa, because that was the photo selected by ESA for their 2013 Calendar! I went back and forth on whether to include the photo in the final selections, but it won out over some others I was considering because of its composition—not many tiger beetle closeups contain as much scale and depth. I guess that’s what ESA like about it as well, but whatever the reason it seems I need to develop a better sense of what photo judges are looking for.

Since nobody guessed the correct photo, I’m going to give all who commented 5 “participation” points, and those of you who used italics with scientific names will get an additional 2 bonus points. Brady Richards maintains his spot atop the overalls in BitB Challenge Session #6 with 66 points, but Mr. Phidippus‘ 58 points moves him into second place over Sam Heads with 54 points.

For those who did not vote for this photo (or, everybody!), maybe access to this 1680×1120 version of the photo (click to enlarge) will help change your minds.

Cicindela formosa generosa (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae) – eastern big sand tiger beetle

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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13 Responses to And the winner is…

  1. Brady Richards says:

    For the record, this was a tough one — I liked ALL the photos.

    By the way, congratulations!

  2. vasha7 says:

    That actually was my favorite. I like the sense of the animal in its habitat, which is a habitat that isn’t seen all that often in such calendars I think, and the “depth” of the photo you pointed out, and the active tension in the way the beetle is standing, about to zip away at high speed.

  3. katedaily says:

    Perhaps it was because I’d seen tiger beetles on this blog before and took it for granted. I absolutely see why it was chosen, though. vasha7 is right on the money.

  4. The pick of the tiger beetle seems right to me, for reasons elaborateed already by others.
    But, I have wanted to ask you and other photographers, wondering in general about the use of white boxes for insect photos (as in the Buprestis one), and why folks don’t use something a bit less stark, like a pale gray or tan?

    • I can’t speak for others, but for me it depends on whether it’s a live subject or dead specimen. With the former I like the stark contrast that isolates the subject from everything else, while with preserved specimens I generally favor a pale blue or gray background (see for example Aaack!-maeodera). I can’t really explain why I have these preferences, only that I do.

      • The blue in the linked photo seems to me a lot easier on the eyes. I suppose, though, that the blue wouldn’t always be the best, and perhaps one would want to choose a background color that is complementary to the subject.

  5. TGIQ says:

    Congrats again! It is a technically stunning photo – they all were! I think I just liked the colours and novelty of the egg cluster photo best :)

  6. Snailquake says:

    It’s great to see you getting this recognition, having followed your blog for a while. It’s also great to learn of the existence of that calendar.

    Best of all, as far as I’m concerned, is that I, a pleb, have finally (by default) been granted some points on this blog. Huzzah!

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