Dr. Claudia Husseneder of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center’s Department of Entomology was announced as the winner of PCT’s 11th Annual Best Pest Photo Contest. Husseneder won with a photo of the horse fly, Tabanus turbidus. She wins $500 from PCT.
Some of the comments from our judges included:
“Great perspective and very sharp. Great composition.”
“Detail is amazing! I love the shadow as well. I feel like he (she?) is looking right at me with those textured ‘eyes.’”
“Love how you can see the detail in its eyes.”
“Captures the striking color differences in this pest. Whether it was intentional or not, the shadow gives it a cool effect.”
Husseneder, whose present research focus at LSU is on Formosan termites, noted that horse flies are members of the “daylight vampires” roaming Louisiana looking for blood.
“About 100 species are pests of livestock in Louisiana,” she said. “This particular species (Tabanus turbidus) usually has no appetite for humans. However, its ‘fangs’ (mandibles) looked sufficiently intimidating through the macro lens that I was awfully glad when it left my leg for hairier pastures.”
Husseneder becomes the first two-time winner of PCT’s photo contest. She took home top honors in 2009 for a photo of a southern carpenter bee.