Image by UC Davis Alumnus Ian Wright Appears in ESA World Calendar

The 2022 Entomological Society of America's World of Insects Calendar is filled with amazing images and one of them is by UC Davis alumnus Ian Wright of Riverside, a field biologist and research specialist with the UC Riverside Department of Entomology. 

His work shows a cuckoo bee (Nomada sp.) and an Anthophora bee sharing honey on a twig. The image appears as an inset for the month of September.

Wright collected the bees at his field site in Hemet Calif., the day before. "I took them to my studio to try and get some images in flight and to bolster my files of native bee species," he related. "I often feed my subjects a little honey as I photograph them over the course of a day or two before releasing them back where I found them. They also tend to offer nice shots when they sit still drinking, so I figured I would try to fit two bees on a twig that I had around, and see if they would offer a picture."

"I managed a number of nice shots of them sharing a drink before letting them go their separate ways. Once spring starts back up in full, I'm hoping to recreate this shot with a half-dozen or more native bee species all on the same branch at the same time to show off the incredible diversity of native bees in California."

"I was so thrilled to have my image accepted to the ESA calendar, which always showcases incredible arthropod images!"

Wright captured the image with a Nikon D500 camera and a Nikon 105mm f 2.8 macro lens. The settings: f-stop, 18; ISO, 200; and shutter speed, 1/250 of a second.  For lighting, he fired two speedlights into a white box setup,  diffusing the lighting on the twig (held in his left hand). For the background, he propped a deliberately blurred landscape print in the back of the box.

This is his first image selected for the international calendar, although he's submitted a few images over the last several years. He was also honored to have one of his arthropod images selected for the cover of the fall edition of the American Entomologist.  

Wright, who holds a bachelor's degree in evolution, ecology and biodiversity from UC Davis in 2008 and a master's degree in evolution, ecology and behavior at the University of Texas, Austin, in 2015, began pursuing photography as a hobby in 2008, using a single lens reflex camera. Today he specializes in macro and wildlife photography but also enjoys "photographing people and, especially, the intersection of people and science."

Wright's hobby has grown into "a passion for documenting the species and behaviors I find during field work or on my many expeditions to observe species and their habitats around the country and the globe."

You can follow Ian Wright on the Internet: 

The World of Insects Calendar is known for its striking, world-class photography of arthropods. The 2022 calendar drew  more than 740 entries from more than 180 photographers from around the globe. The cover image depicts newly hatched brown marmorated stink bug nymphs (Halyomorpha halys), photographed by Tom Astle of Sherman Oaks, Calif.

ESA seeks photos of "the highest aesthetic and technical quality,"  and issues a call for photos early in the year for the following year's calendar. Photographers of all backgrounds, areas of expertise, career stage, and geographic location  submit photos. 

This year ESA also published an "Arthropod Photo of the Week" from the submitted photos.  (Follow "Arthropod Photo of the Week" via the #arthropodPOTW hashtag on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.)

ESA, founded in 1889, serves the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and individuals in related disciplines throughout the world. Its 7000 members are affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. They include teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, pest management professionals, and hobbyists. 

The general public can order the 2022 calendar online by accessing this link. The cost per calendar is $10 for ESA members and $14 or non-members, with decreased costs for multiple orders.