Photographing a fishfly

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Female Spring Fishfly, Chauliodes pectinicornis (Kennebunk, Maine). This is the good, in-focus shot that I was able to get, showing clearly the diagnostic black markings on the head and serrated antennae.

In the wee hours of the morning of June 1, 2016, I was out collecting insects in Maine when I stumbled upon a female Spring Fishfly, Chauliodes rastricornis. I usually find her cousin the Summer Fishfly (C. pectinicornis), so I scooped her up for a photograph later. I had photographed fishflies before, but this one was quite active, leaping into flight whenever I lifted the lid off of her container. This behavior resulted in some rather interesting, if not very well done photographically, shots. In fact, I think some of the horribly out-of-focus photos I took of her are extremely funny, and much more entertaining than the actual in-focus shot that I eventually did end up getting. Below is a small set of the outtakes.

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Fishflies spread their wings like this for a brief second before they take off into flight.

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The upstroke…

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…and away she goes!

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Not entirely sure what she was going for here…

I may write a post detailing more of the biology of fishflies in the future. That post, you can be assured, will not contain any blurry, out-of-focus photos like the ones above.