Photographer's Note

A couple of Chrysolina beetles stacked the way they often are this time of the year ;-)
These little beetles are only about 5 mm long each. I think they may be relatives of the one shown by Jaap a few days ago, only I don't know if they're the same subspecies - I'm not even sure which subspecies these are. They could be Chrysalina Fastuosa, but then again maybe they're not.
I've noticed that the females of these beetles have very swollen abdomens at present, but I don't know whether they always do, or whether they're just full of eggs at the moment. I've tried looking for information on the breeding habits of chrysolinas, but I've not been able to find anything. Leastways, the swollen abdomen does not prevent the lady beetles from mating, should a likely-looking male show up ;-)
This couple was sitting quietly on a leaf, doing whatever it was they were doing, and I got a few shots of that. Only this one came out okay, as we've had extremely windy conditions today, so many photos were simply out of focus. Up the stem of the leaf came another male beetle, and obviously he thought he'd have a share in the fun, too. So, he immediately climbed on top of the twosome, toppled his opponent off his damsel and tried to take his place. The two males both fell of the damsel and now started a squabble to see who'd be on top of *each other*. The lady beetle watched for a while, then she decided to call it a day and descended from the leaf, while the two males were still fighting over the privilege of mounting her. So, once the two males had finished fighting, the prize of the fight had disappeared ;-))
Treatment: Crop, contrast +10, brightness +5, saturation +10, USM and resize.

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Additional Photos by Bente Feldballe (milloup) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 608 W: 65 N: 329] (1829)
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