Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Gary McDonald, Contributor
Full name:
Gary McDonald
Remove _NO_SPAM in the above address to reach me.
City, state, country:
Aromas, CA, USA

BS 1970 Cal Poly; Bio. Sci.
MA 1978 Moss Landing Marine Labs; Invert. Zoo.
Biologist & IT at Long Marine Lab, UCSC 1976-2007 Retired July 2007.
Interested in systematics, taxonomy, & nomenclature of nudibranchs.
I started macrophotography in 1970 in order to record nudibranchs, using a Nikon F, Nikon 55mm macro, flash (& bellows for tiny guys). Moved on to Nikon N8008 and Nikon 60mm macro, & 105mm macro then Nikon F4. Haven't shot much in the last few years, but upon retirement I bought a Nikon D200, Nikon 200mm macro, & SB800. My experience is mostly with marine invertebrates, but now that I'm retired, I'm wandering around our property (3 acres in the country, live oak/chaparral habitat), photographing bugs & whatever else presents itself. "Going wild", not having to deal with film and processing.

(Jan 2008) Just bought a Canon 40D, MP-E 65mm macro lens, & MT-24EX to photograph the tiny guys. Not exactly easy to use, but anything hand-held at 4x or 5x won't be easy. I'm just happy to be able to photograph some of the tiny guys in the field.

In Oct 2008 I starting submitting my moths to BOLD for DNA sequencing and identification.

August 2011. We purchased 40 acres of "rocks, weeds, & steep slopes" at Willow Springs, San Benito Co., CA, originally as a place to shoot clay pigeons. It's hot, dry & somewhat desolate, but we discovered there are interesting bugs & wildflowers on the property. A year later we purchased the adjacent 40 acres of even steeper land. We call our 80 acres: "The Ranch", even though there is no livestock grazing the land now. Found the new 40 acres has a small spring, so we built a path (with many switchbacks) down the steep hillside, through the sagebrush so we could hike down to the spring. Eventually we decided that the 350 foot elevation drop down the steep path, from where we parked the 4WD, was a bit much for a couple of old retired folks, so we had a bulldozer build a 4WD road so we can now drive down to the spring. The spring was just a small puddle in a dry creek bed, being fed from a mud-slick just a few feet upstream. So I had a backhoe open up the mud-slick to create a 1 foot deep pool for the local wildlife to drink. The 4 trail cams at the spring have recorded 1 visit by a mountain lion, occasional visits by raccoons & badgers, numerous visits by a bobcats, coyotes, wild pigs, deer, skunks, woodrats, rabbits, ravens, red-tailed hawks, & many other smaller birds, including lots of quail. The spring is a great place to photograph various bugs, as it is likely the only surface water available within a couple of miles.

June 2012: Bought Nikon D800 with the hope of creating photos with more resolution/detail.

May 2014: Bought Canon 70D for higher resolution when using MP-E 65mm lens.