Bee on a bright pink flower
Flowers,  Nature and wildlife,  Sunday Stills,  Themed galleries

Gallery: a selection of summer bugs

Anyone who enjoys flower photography will know the special joy of suddenly spotting a little bee or other bug in the flower you are about to photograph. Over the years I seem to have amassed quite a number of these ‘bonus bug’ shots.

Sometime I don’t even see the insect until after I’ve taken the photo, when I look at it for the first time on my computer. You’ll find a shot of a rose below where the presence of a ladybird came as a complete surprise to me!

At other times I have set out to deliberately capture an insect. These are the more frustrating shots, as insects haven’t really perfected the skill of posing for the camera! But each time I succeed in getting the photo I’m after, there’s a little buzz (pun intended!) of excitement, as there is with any wildlife photography.

For Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge ‘Summer Bugs’ I have a selection of my more successful deliberate shots and my favourite ‘happy accident’ ones. Some were taken close to home, others on my travels.


Let’s start with the bees, so essential to our well-being and indeed our very existence on earth!


Butterflies are probably the hardest ‘bugs’ to capture, which may explain why I have relatively few shots of them!

Dragonflies and damselflies

These can look very similar but there are some key differences. Damselflies rest with their wings closed, while dragonflies keep them spread out like a plane. And dragonflies have very large eyes that are close together, whereas damselflies have slightly smaller eyes with a gap in between.

Flies, beetles and more

Here to finish is a mixed bunch of other bugs I’ve spotted in different places.


  • Alli Templeton

    Fabulous shots, Sarah, and such glorious colours. A real burst of summer! The butterflies are amazing, and I love dragonflies, so they’re a particular treat. I have to admit, though, I’ve never seen a purple one before, and as purple is my absolute favourite colour i was really impressed with that! Was that taken abroad? Super shot of the little hat passenger too. 😀

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Alli. The purple dragonfly was in Oman. You should be able to see captions on the photos – are they not working for you? The hat photo was taken in North Korea. Our bus had broken down and we were stuck by the side of the road for an hour. We weren’t allowed to take our cameras when we got off to stretch our legs but I had my phone and manged to get this shot of a fellow tour guest without our guides noticing!

      • Alli Templeton

        Oman? Wow, no wonder I haven’t seen any like that here. I can’t see any captions to the photos, I’m afraid, but it may just be my server. But it certainly doesn’t detract from your amazing photos, I can assure you! And well done for snapping your fellow traveller in secret. The cloak-and-dagger approach was well worth it! 🙂

        • Sarah Wilkie

          That’s very odd. There should be a caption if you hover over it with your mouse and also if you click to open the photos. A shame, as I do try to give my photos helpful captions! I wonder now if other people can’t see them? I’ll have to take a straw poll some time!

          • Alli Templeton

            Ah! Don’t panic – I ddn’t realise the captions appeared when you hover over them. Not being very web savvy I usually just scroll down using the side bar when I read posts, so this is a feature I didn’t know about. Still, I do now, so I know what to do in future. Sorry about that. 😀

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    Many of the insects you captured with your lens are easier to do so than most, Sarah. Perhaps they appreciate their pics taken, LOL! Thanks for the distinction between damsel and dragonflies. All amazing shots, but my favorite is the last image of the water strider. Love it! Speaking of being bugged, looks like your link did not take. I read this via your email today. Thank you for playing along with the bugs today for Sunday Stills!

    • Toonsarah

      Thanks Terri 😀 Yes, some are definitely easier to capture than others. The butterflies are the hardest I reckon! So you call that a water strider? Here it is a water boatman because the spread out legs look like oars!

      I’m sorry the link didn’t work. I’d scheduled this to post while away but when I checked it I saw it hadn’t posted so I did it from my tablet. Maybe that affected the pingback?

  • Oh, the Places We See

    You’re soooo lucky! I’ve never been able to capture more than a few of these bugs. And I hear you about the butterflies . . . elusive little devils. Congrats on beautiful photography captured in fleeting moments!

    • Toonsarah

      Thank you 😀 Yes, many of these were pure good luck and a couple, like the ladybird, I didn’t even spot until later. Others, like the swallowtail butterfly and some of the bees, were the result of patient stalking for some time!


    Hi Sarah, nice one! Did you catch the shots of the praying mantis in our time at Delphi last week? He actually jumped on to the camera while we were taking his picture. Great collection of shots, and yes, it is indeed always a joy when you capture one!

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!