Amazing how annual these discoveries can feel.
It was but one year ago when I captured some images of a leaf-footed bug on my patio. Unlike so many other states, Texas is home to several species of this creature (IIRC, there are only five species in North America and Texas is home to all of them). The 2006 specimen was Acanthocephala terminalis. This time, however, I found one of the other four species I had yet to photograph.
Meet the Giant Agave Bug (Acanthocephala thomasi), another built-like-a-tank insect with the colorful antennae and telltale body of a leaf-footed bug.
I encountered this marvelous creature during my visit to The Celebration Tree Grove. I climbed upon one of the stone edifices in hopes of a better vantage point from which to snap a picture or two. As I leaned against the cool structure with morning’s warm sunlight falling upon me, I noticed this small giant moving to escape the threat of my behemoth elbow.
How splendid a monster in its world. How entrancing a leviathan on scales we humans often do not notice.
Like its cousin before it, I first noticed the mesmerizing paint coloring the ends of each antenna. I didn’t dare move too quickly lest I scare it, for even at first glance I rested the whole of my arm no more than a breath away from this armored beast.
Slowly, as though under a spell, I stood upright while moving my intimidating mass away from the monster. In response, and even still as I tried to get the camera near to it, I watched as the insect moved away, glanced at me, then moved still further in the opposite direction.
Never did I find the opportunity for better images. Each gesture on my part resulted in a counter-move on its part. We seemed to dance, the two of us, each in turn responding to the other.
Despite not being able to entice a better pose, I still came away feeling as though I’d seen and photographed yet another example of the splendid diversity that exists all around me.