Rainbow scarab

I came across a Rainbow Scarab in East TX, and decided to take a few minutes for some hand help macro using the Sony 70-200 G-Master on my RIII at: 1/250 sec, f/18, 200mm, ISO 320. The day was as sunny as they can get in Texas, so I could stop the aperture very significantly at f/18 to get the depth of field so problematic with macrophotos, while preserving a decent speed compatible with hand held and the subject’s movements. In those cases the ISO is the most significant adjustment variable, and I did not have to push it to grainy territory.

As a bee keeper, I am always on the lookout for varroa mites and other parasites on my bees. So while taking the pictures of the scarab I had to notice the little guy was infested with very small mites (reminiscent of, but different from, the bee’s varroa mite) below its mandibula and at the head-thorax junction. Once home, some research indicated those are likely Macrocheles Amygdaligera mites.

The male rainbow scarabs have a horn, but the individual I photographed did not, so I have to guess it is likely a female. At some point the scarab decided it had enough with the pictures and flew away. That’s the picture at the head of this post.