White-Marked Tussock Moth

by Camellia Staab June. 18, 2019 556 views

I was energetic this morning and finally decided to paint the mailbox. While out there I saw this little guy crawling around the post, so of course I asked him if he wanted to go inside and pose for a few shots. He was very reluctant but with some coaxing he agreed to come in with me.

I used my macro lens and attached the extensions and shot away.

I really wanted him to lift his head up so I could take some photos of him "standing" somewhat upright. But no sooner he would start moving and lifting than I would lose focus. I know, I know, with macro you need to use a tripod, but I like to challenge myself plus tripods are so cumbersome to use.

Anyway we did this dance a couple of times but couldn't really get the photo I wanted.

So I took him back outside and decided to get my longer macro lens and see if I could capture him better in his "normal" environment.

By the way if you are wondering how they got their name it's because of the plush tufts/tussocks that decorate their abdomens. The color of the stripes and tufts on White-Marked Tussock Moth caterpillars may vary from white to yellow, but they (fils et filles) have in common four white tufts toward the front, a bright red head, two small, red dots toward the rear, and a black stripe down the center of their back, bordered below by a yellow stripe (source).

Eventually, he crawled on to the stoned walk way and crawled to the other side of the yard.

As I watched him move away, I noticed two other buddies of mine hanging around. So as to make sure they did not become jealous of the WmTM, I took a few shots of them as well.

Focusing on flying insects is definitely not my forte. So be it. 🐛🐜🐝🐞🕷🦋

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Tsao T-F 1 year, 9 months ago

Good series! It is true that a tripod is not very useful because of its continue moving. 
I have similar experience for your reference:
1. Lift the head view.
https://www.photoblog.com/tsao/2018/05/07/the-balcony-observers-report-moth-larva-dasychira-mendosa-ji-ban-du-e/
2. The silk cocoon.
https://www.photoblog.com/tsao/2019/02/28/the-balcony-observers-133th-report-moth-cocoon-dasychira-mendosa-ji-ban-du-e-jian/

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you for sharing your photos! Looks like your guy/gal is older? I only say that because his tuffs look much larger than the one I captured. Or maybe it's the way you captured him. Either way thank you so much for sharing your experience smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Vivienne Albiston Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

I use an old small school bean bag as a camera rest instead of a tripod. Works surprisingly well for a lot of my macro stuff.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Vivienne Albiston 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you Vivienne for the tip smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

You may like sitting on a small stool and put the guy/gal on a leaf that is in the height about your shoulders. Your elbows can be fixed on your lap, so you don't need a tripod. Now you can follow it comfortably and get photos with many different views, maybe including a "Lift the head" view. grinning Wish you have a good luck.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you Tsao for the tip. I let the little guy go back to his environment. I'll wait for the next one and try your suggestions. 😊

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Vivienne Albiston 1 year, 9 months ago

Just lovely.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Vivienne Albiston 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you Vivienne smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Heike 1 year, 9 months ago

Some really great photos. This caterpillar is really a freak. If somebody would ask me, to give him a name, I would call him Alice Cooper. No idea why...smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Heike 1 year, 9 months ago

😂😂

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 9 months ago

Amazing work my friend. And what a beautiful creature

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 9 months ago

Definitely one worth stopping for.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 9 months ago

Nice shots. And now I want to see that mailbox of yours (and I mean: painted) smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 9 months ago

Coming right up smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva 1 year, 9 months ago

Really interesting post, that caterpillar was a cool subject with its unusual colors and tuffs ( natures cotton balls). My husband gave me a monopod and that has been great for outdoor macro photography since it gives the stability and flexibility with out so much hassle as a tripod.  I used it for my Macro Monday pictures

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you Lee. As a matter of fact last night I went shooting at the Municipal theater and one of the photographers there had a monopod that looked pretty sturdy, which made me think that maybe that is something I should consider. May I ask the brand name of your monopod?

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

It's a Bilora, and a really old one, like over 25 years old. My husband found it recently when going through some stuff in the basement and gave it to me. It fits into a backpack which makes easy for me to take it along when I'm outside. I'll probably invest in a newer one someday since I have a hard time getting it back into its compact form.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you Lee. I did look up Bilora and apparently while they are still around as far as used , they are not being manufactured now. The guy who was shooting with me gave me the name of his (Sirui P-326 monopod). He is very pleased with it and the only thing he has done is changed the ballhead to  Sirui K-20X to keep it uniform with his tripod. Thought I would share in case you were in the market smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

oh yeah, thanks for the tip!

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg 1 year, 9 months ago

Great shots, niece.  Hopefully, you got him to sign a release.  I don't want that part of your inheritance from me to go to some bug.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Bob Rosenberg 1 year, 9 months ago

Uncle Bob, I not only had him sign a release, I also had him do a "cross my heart and hope to die,I 'll never sue you" affirmation. I am no fool sir smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

You get an "attagirl".

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 year, 9 months ago

Fabulous set! WOWZERZ!!!

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 9 months ago

I had never seen one before so naturally it was very intriguing.

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

For me, the transformation of caterpillars to butterflies is one of the most amazing things in Mother Nature! smile+1

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
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