- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Who takes images of flies? Raise your hand! No, not the hand with the flyswatter.
Well, almost anything is fair game for my camera.
That includes golden dung flies.
I am humbled to learn that my image of a golden dung fly won the Entomological Society of America (ESA) medal for "Best Image by an ESA Member" in the 64th annual International Insect Salon competition.
ESA showcased the winning images on Sunday, Nov. 13 at its joint meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of British Columbia, which opened Nov. 13 and continues through Nov. 16 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
I captured the image of the fly, Scathophaga stercoraria, perched on a lavender stem in our family's pollinator garden in Vacaville and titled it “Checking You Out.” Scathophaga play an important role in the natural decomposition of dung. UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, identified the fly.
The Peoria Camera Club, Illinois, sponsors the Insect Salon in conjunction with ESA and the Photographic Society of America. Coordinator Joe Virbickis of the Peoria Camera Club said the images are restricted to insects, spiders, and related arthropods (such as barnacles, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, centipedes, and millipedes.) Each photographer may submit up to four entries. "The range for acceptances is 33-35 percent of eligible images," he said.
This year's competition drew 254 entries. Judges gave acceptances to photographers from 17 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States. (See acceptances and awards at https://insectsalon.peoriacameraclub.com/results/2022/Html/sect_1.htm)
Best of Show. Best of show medal went to Kenneth Gillies of West Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, for his “Peppermint Shrimps Inside a Sponge.”
Gillies was joined by the five other top winners:
- Medal for Most Unusual Image: Weihua Ma of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China, for “Pretending to be a Branch.”
- Medal for Best Storytelling Image: Dre Van Mensel of Tielen, Antwerpen, Belgium, for “It's Mine.”
- Medal for Best Image by a ESA member: Kathy Keatley Garvey of UC Davis/Vacaville, Calif., for “Checking You Out.” (as earlier mentioned)
- Medal for Best Image by a non-ESA member, Tim Sanders of Bideford, Devon, England, for “At Work.”
- Medal for Best Peoria Camera Club member: Ladean Spring of Creve Coeur, lll., for “Hummingbird Moth.”
ESA member and noted insect photographer Tom Myers of Lexington, Ky., displayed the Insect Salon images at the ESA meeting. Virbickis assisted in preparing it. Myers is a frequent recipient of Insect Salon awards. His acceptances this year: "European Hornet Vespa Crabro" (honorable mention); "Chalcid Wasp 1"; and "Brood X Cicada Magicicada Sp."
The 7000-member ESA, founded in 1889 and located in Annapolis, Md., is the world's largest entomological organization. It is affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, pest management professionals, and hobbyists.