Culture

See the magic of insects taking flight at 3,200 FPS

Adrian Smith has been capturing some of the most fascinating sights on the small scale with his specialist equipment setup.

Meet Adrian Smith. He's the head of the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab at North Carolina's Museum of Natural Sciences. He also hosts the museum's YouTube channel, "Ant Lab."

Smith, without any specific research purpose in mind, decided to start filming insects using an impromptu recording studio in his laundry room.

Ant Lab

To collect the insects, Smith employed a black light which he used to attract and harvest night-active bugs from more than seven different orders.

Smith said he specifically avoided filming insects that have already been captured flying on camera like the plume moth picture below, which Smith describes as a "half-successful attempt."

Smith also captured a firefly taking off and recorded them beating their wings at a full 62 up and down strokes per second.

These simultaneous videos show the same painted lichen moth in two separate sequences. Smith describes it as potentially his favorite new footage.

Note how the moth almost looks animated while filmed in hyper slow-motion.

Here's a fishfly, which is the biggest insect filmed by Smith.

A giant stonefly takes a dive.

Smith's footage reveals some of the most impressive displays on the small scale...

...as well as some of the cutest, like this rosy maple moth.

To see more...

You can check out Smith's YouTube channel, Ant Lab, where he does in-depth videos on insects across the spectrum.

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