Photos of insects on white backgrounds

I capture and kill thousands of beetles annually as field collaborator for a university museum and I usually shoot their corpses in several views on a white background next to a metric rule for ID purposes. After collecting a good series of a species (many of which are new to science) I stop collecting them. I probably do less harm to the insect population than a single small insectivorous bird.

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I photograph moths frequently (too frequently if you ask my family) and I use leaves, rocks, old wood etc. for backgrounds if I have the time. I prefer the colour and texture of the natural surfaces to the moth sheet or the egg cartons in the moth trap.

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So do I… the horror I express is more about the false “associations”… for instance, when identifying I often look at the plant an insect is on, as it can give clues to potential IDs. In some cases it can eliminate a possibility, that sort of thing. We have a good picture of the host plants for a number of the agricultural pests, for instance, because there have been very thorough studies done, but then for other species we don’t even know where to find the larvae, period. It does highlight the need to not assume too much from a photo!

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My bathtub, sinks, and floor tiles are all white. I find a disturbing number of live bugs in these places.

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That’s why they put patterns on things… it’s to hide the bugs!

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not sure if this is off-topic:
https://emilydamstra.com/news/please-enough-dead-butterflies/

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This is so true! I work in a national park and often times I will find moths out in the open and on rainy days will transport them one by one to a more forested area.

They are very tame creatures!