Catching up on the announcement of the 2008 Nikon Small World contest winners, here’s sixth place winner Klaus Bolte’s stereomicrograph of a microleaf beetle (Chrysolina fastuosa). While you might think you’ve seen this kind of beetle before, pinned prettily in glass collection boxes, you’d be wrong – the silver disc behind the beetle is a pin head. The beetle is seen here at 40x magnification – pinning it down with a conventional pin would obliterate it.

The first place winner this year was Michael Stringer, who used polarized light, darkfield, and image manipulation to portray the graceful arches of marine diatoms (Pleurosigma). You can peruse a gallery of all the winning photos here.


  1. #1 rhett
    October 26, 2008

    I’m curious. What’s the evolutionary advantage for the beetle to be so highly colored like that when it is so small. Does the beetle have predators that can see it (are eyes too complex to evolve at such a small scale…one would think not)? If so, would the beetle’s coloring be made to mimic something like an oil slick? Beautiful in any case!

  2. #2 lily
    October 4, 2009

    how would you pin a beetle

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