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.

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that eucharitid is pretty badass

By ihateaphids (not verified) on 23 Dec 2009 #permalink

Thank you

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?

By Henry W. Robison (not verified) on 23 Dec 2009 #permalink

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

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

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.

By Pete Yeeles (not verified) on 23 Dec 2009 #permalink

Magnificent photos.

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

By JefFlyingV (not verified) on 24 Dec 2009 #permalink

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.

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

By Ulli Peiler (not verified) on 25 Dec 2009 #permalink

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.

Thank you sir, no need to google hawk moths.

By Jefflyingv@aol.com (not verified) on 27 Dec 2009 #permalink