The winning entry in this year’s PCT photo contest — an acorn weeveil snapped by Ed Freytag, senior entomologist at the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board — was not even Freytag’s intended target. Freytag took this photo in late August at the Rockbridge Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch in Rockbridge, Mo., in the afternoon while he was trying to capture photos of catalpa caterpillars using a macro setup.
“I spotted the weevil under the leaves of the catalpa tree and proceeded to poke it with a small stick to make it move on the top of the leaf for a better shot,” Freytag said. “It wasn't too happy about getting prodded but it finally settled down and gave me a few opportunity shots, this one being the best pose.”
Freytag said he was impressed most by “how the body was covered in scales and hairs, not easily seen until after I reviewed the picture on the camera's LCD screen.”
Here’s a sampling of what PCT’s judges had to say about the winning photo:
“The contrast of the brown insect against the rich green leaf creates a striking image.”
“Love the detail in this photo, from the grooves on its body to the drop of moisture on the leaf.”
Freytag has been with the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board for the last 27 years and his research and field work focuses on those “big 3” pests, as well as other problematic vermin in the city’s 300 facilities. As winner, Freytag receives $500 from PCT. His photo will be showcased in March PCT, along with photos of the 10 finalists (also online here).