The best insect photos of 2009

In 2009 the world’s macrophotographers- both amateur and professional- continued to capture breathtaking images of the arthropod microscape.  I’ve been bookmarking insect photos from around the web that catch my eye, and after spending some time this week reviewing the candidates I’ve selected nine favorites. Wow. These are the images from fellow photographers that most captured my imagination over the past year.

Together, by Jan Zajc

untitled, by Bonali Giuseppe

Frog beetle ready for take-off, by Alfred Preuss

Ants climbing tree, by Uros Kotnik

Water striders, by Clay Bolt

Eyes of a Holcocephala fusca Robber Fly, by Thomas Shahan

Eight-legged vaudeville, by Rick Lieder

untitled, by Igor Siwanowicz

Eucharitid wasp, by Rundstedt B. Rovillos

Last year’s picks are here.


  1. #1 ihateaphids
    December 23, 2009

    that eucharitid is pretty badass

  2. #2 Warren
    December 23, 2009

    Thank you

  3. #3 Henry W. Robison
    December 23, 2009

    These are absolutely fabulous! Thanks Alex for making these available to us on your blog. What about a “Top 10 of Alex Wild” for 2009?

  4. #4 myrmecos
    December 23, 2009

    Thanks Henry! I’m working on it- I’ll have a selection of my own best up in a few days.

  5. #5 Dave
    December 23, 2009

    Have to agree with the aphidophobe, the eucharitid is pretty spectacular, especially considering the probable size. Looking forward to your own selection.

  6. #6 Pete Yeeles
    December 23, 2009

    All great photos. Love the background on the first image, and the frog beetle capture is superb. Looks robotic, with the metallic sheen and wings unfurling.

  7. #7 Johnny
    December 23, 2009

    Stunning – Thanks!!!

  8. #8 Margaret
    December 24, 2009

    Just magnificent. Thank you!

  9. #9 Rick Lieder
    December 24, 2009

    Thanks for including me among all these excellent images, Alex. Impressive work!

  10. #10 JefFlyingV
    December 24, 2009

    Magnificent photos.

    The 2 caterpillars, are they from the same species or are they distant cousins? Moth or butterfly?

  11. #11 zhaphod
    December 25, 2009

    It just blows my mind to think that nature has produced such beauty and marvel. It also brings up the question of why we find these things beautiful.

    Fantastic pictures. thanks.

  12. #12 Ulli Peiler
    December 25, 2009

    Your selection is just mind blowing. It’s discovery without harming, detail without section, respect without intrusion.

  13. #13 Rick Lieder
    December 25, 2009

    “Discovery without harming” – Well put, Ulli.

  14. #14 James C. Trager
    December 26, 2009

    The fine points of anatomy, including little tubercle on the caudal horn, and general pattern are the same, so even though not by any means expert in this family of insects, I feel fairly comfortable saying these are very likely the same species of “hornworm”, or Sphingidae. They grow up into “hawk moths”. There you go, three terms to google for more info.

  15. #15 James C. Trager
    December 26, 2009

    Oops. I meant tubercles, plural.

  16. #16
    December 27, 2009

    Thank you sir, no need to google hawk moths.

  17. #17 אנה מונטנה
    December 29, 2009

    Just wow!!! what a beautiful pictures as much insects might be beautiful.. XP..

    How do you take photos of them? what is the techniqu?

  18. #18 Walter Kurutz
    December 30, 2009

    Incredible, and some say we were put on this planet with a Big Bang, who created such beauty? God of course! 🙂

  19. #19 Dutch1962
    December 31, 2009

    Very nice,

    God is a wonderful architect.

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