Winning with insects

The Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition results were recently announced. Four of the top ten entries had arthropods as subjects including a harvestman (#1 winner) a damselfly (#7) and Beetles at #s 8 and 10. The winner is a confocal image that displays the lenses, retina and optic nerves in vivid color.

Eyes and nerve cells of a harvestman
Photo: Igor Siwanowicz, Max Planck

Dr. Siwanowicz also took 7th place for his image of the eye of a damselfly.

Compound eye of a damselfly
Photo: Igor Siwanowicz, Max Planck

Confocal microscopy has made it possible to produce detailed images that are useful for comparative scientific studies. For those interested in viewing the photos, they will be on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum from December 2010 through February 2011. Entomologists gathering in San Diego may want to check it out.

Photos and photo contests are a great way of drawing attention to objects that would otherwise go unnoticed. The above photos are like nothing most of us have seen before and we would be lost to guess their identity without an appropriate caption. It can also be fun to try to guess the subject of close up photography. Ted Macrae is offering a Super Crop Challenge. Have fun guessing the subject of his image.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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