Kodachrome, enlarged 4 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

Lacewing Unfolds the Wings of a Fairy but Spreads an Unpleasant Odor

This insect’s larvae are called aphis lions because they eat harmful plant aphids. To photograph the Lacewing, Zahl focused his camera on the petal, then waited for the creature to crawl into range.

Kodachrome, enlarged 2 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

Queen Butterfly Defends Her Fragile Beauty with Bad Taste

Unpleasant secretions, probably derived from rank plants consumed by the larva, cause insect eaters to avoid the Queen Butterfly. This specimen, flapping to gain balance, lights on a hibiscus plant in the Bahamas.

Here’s a handy guide to tell Queen butterflies from Monarchs. After looking at it, I still think this is a Monarch, but I guess National Geographic would know, right?

Kodachrome by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

This mantis ignored impending disaster. Seconds later the cat ate her.

Who’s the real backyard monster, here?

Kodachrome, enlarged 4 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

A Paper Wasp Feasts on a Thistle’s Nectar. Hooked Antennae Identify a Male

Early spring’s wasps found buzzing in attics are queens of the Paper Wasp. Hibernating through winter, they hatch young to form new colonies. Nests are made of dead wood chewed into a pulp.

Kodachrome, enlarged 4 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

Velvety black and yellow bumblebee fur has a deep pile. Carrying pollen grains caught on the hairs from male to female flowers, the bee helps propagate many farm crops. This bee is the only insect which pollinates some types of red clover. Others have tongues too short to reach the nectar, and so are not attracted to deep flowers where they would pick up pollen.

If you ever feel rejected by someone, you can tell yourself they just haven’t evolved to meet your needs. The right bees will find you, don’t worry.

Kodachrome, enlarged 4 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

A Furry Bumblebee’s Long Tongue Probed Deep for the Nectar in a Thistle

Like its smaller relative, the honeybee, the Bumblebee gathers summer’s sweetness. Unlike its relative, it does not die after stinging but uses its weapon repeatedly. Antennae project stiffly from the head.

Kodachrome by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

Author and photographer Paul A. Zahl and daughter examine an insect caught in a field of coreopsis. To quiet his grasshoppers for their photographs, Dr. Zahl chilled them in an ice bucket.

Kodachrome, enlarged 10 times, by Paul A. Zahl.

From “Back-yard Monsters in Color,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

Beware That Look of Wide-eyed Innocence! Greedy Grasshoppers Have Ravaged the Earth

Swarms have devastated Bible lands, Africa, and the American West. This specimen is a Short-horned Grasshopper, so named for its short feelers. Multiple eyes look forward and sideward. Claws help in climbing.

Kodachrome by Douglas Scott.

From “High Adventure in the Himalayas,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

After a Jungle Trek, All Hands Relax in a Camper’s Fly-free Paradise

Insect pests plagued the Scots and their bearers at low altitudes. This campsite atop a 12,000-foot ridge offered relief from heat and flies. Firewood was handy; a snowbank (lower right) provided water. Porters, weary of climbing, dropped their loads.

Photo by Thomas Weir.

From “High Adventure in the Himalayas,” National Geographic, August, 1952.

A Barefoot Grandmother Spins Wool at Milam

She pulls the raw wool into a rough strand, carefully paying it out to the whirling bobbin. Gnarled toes power a treadle turning the bobbin and winding the yarn. Most Indian hill people spin by hand.