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Entomologists have traditionally used a hand lens to examine small species in the field. 

Whilst I own one and take it in the field with me, I rarely use it.

This is because I use a digital camera with a macro feature. It is far more convenient to take a photo of any interesting looking species and then zoom the image up on the monitor on the back of the camera to check any details.

It is easier to check a frozen image than focus on a moving insect.

At the same time this also checks that the images are in focus and show the required features, before releasing the individual back into its habitat.

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Photo by Liz Jewels
Checking camera details

Warm inconspicuous ladybirds can run very fast and fly off suddenly making photography difficult.

Placing cold water on a hard surface and placing the ladybird on this damp patch can cool it sufficiently to take some photos before it warms up.

If wet it is likely to stop and clean itself, which also allows time to get a photo.

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Red-flanked Ladybird washing face

Ivy and Red-flanked Ladybirds are particually active and prone to fly when warm.

Epaulet and Forestier's Ladybirds are at the other end of the activity spectrum

and will often sit still allowing good opportunities for photography.

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