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Insecta Collection

"Insecta: A Kaleidoscope of Nature's Wonders" Ornithoptera alexandrae, commonly known as Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly

Background imageInsecta Collection: Trap-jaw ant (Odontomachus chelifer) portrait, Wayqecha, Peru

Trap-jaw ant (Odontomachus chelifer) portrait, Wayqecha, Peru

Background imageInsecta Collection: Two Pale Clouded Yellows -Colias hyale-, Bulgaria

Two Pale Clouded Yellows -Colias hyale-, Bulgaria

Background imageInsecta Collection: Honey bees on a honeycomb

Honey bees on a honeycomb
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) on a honeycomb. The chambers in a honeycomb are created using wax secreted by the bees. The chambers are then filled with honey, using nectar obtained from flowers

Background imageInsecta Collection: Ornithoptera alexandrae, Queen Alexandras birdwing butterfly

Ornithoptera alexandrae, Queen Alexandras birdwing butterfly
A mounted specimen of Queen Alexandras birdwing butterfly from Papua New Guinea. Male specimen measuring 188 mm across wingtips. See 14964 for the female which is larger

Background imageInsecta Collection: Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) on a plant, sunbathing

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) on a plant, sunbathing

Background imageInsecta Collection: Entomology Specimens

Entomology Specimens
A specimen tray from the Natural History Museums Entomology Department showing the diversity of insects in terms of shape, size and colours

Background imageInsecta Collection: Chrysina limbata, silver chafer beetle

Chrysina limbata, silver chafer beetle
Silver chafer beetle specimen. The beetles have a base pigment covered by several colourless microscopically thin layers called laminae

Background imageInsecta Collection: Beetles

Beetles
Double page spread of pencil and watercolour illustrations and sketches of beetles by Henry Walter Bates

Background imageInsecta Collection: Leaf cutter ants (Atta sp) carrying colourful plant matter, reflected in water, Laguna del Lagarto

Leaf cutter ants (Atta sp) carrying colourful plant matter, reflected in water, Laguna del Lagarto, Santa Rita, Costa Rica

Background imageInsecta Collection: Red Admiral -Vanessa atalanta- in search of nectar on Common Boneset

Red Admiral -Vanessa atalanta- in search of nectar on Common Boneset, Agueweed or Feverwort -Eupatorium-, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Background imageInsecta Collection: Inachis io, peacock butterfly

Inachis io, peacock butterfly
Plate 23 from Illustrations of British butterflies and their larvae, with the plants on which they feed, by Theo Johnson, 1892

Background imageInsecta Collection: Morpho cypris, blue morpho butterfly

Morpho cypris, blue morpho butterfly
Butterfly from Central America. South America. Specimen on display at the Natural History Museum at Tring, part of the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageInsecta Collection: Phoebis sennae, cloudless sulphur butterfly

Phoebis sennae, cloudless sulphur butterfly
Photograph of a mounted specimen of cloudless sulphur. Male. Species occurs on the Galapagos Islands

Background imageInsecta Collection: Xanthopan morganii praedicta, sphinx moth

Xanthopan morganii praedicta, sphinx moth
Darwins sphinx moth, found in Madagascar. The species as a whole is known as Morgans sphinx

Background imageInsecta Collection: Plate 17 from Libellulinae Europaeae by de Charpentier

Plate 17 from Libellulinae Europaeae by de Charpentier
Illustration of dragonflies. Plate 17 from Libellulinae Europaeae illustrated and described by Toussint de Charpentier, 1840

Background imageInsecta Collection: Hummingbird hawk-moth

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) feeding on nectar inside a clammy cuphaea flower (Cuphea viscosissima)

Background imageInsecta Collection: Common blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus) basking in the morning light, Vealand Farm, Devon, UK

Common blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus) basking in the morning light, Vealand Farm, Devon, UK. July

Background imageInsecta Collection: Leaf cutter ants (Atta sp) carrying plant matter, Costa Rica

Leaf cutter ants (Atta sp) carrying plant matter, Costa Rica

Background imageInsecta Collection: Sea green swallowtail butterfly

Sea green swallowtail butterfly
Sea green swallowtail (Papilio lorquinianus) butterfly. This butterfly is found in Indonesia, Sulawesi, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and in the Philippines

Background imageInsecta Collection: Fruit fly, SEM Z340 / 0768

Fruit fly, SEM Z340 / 0768
Fruit fly. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fruit fly (Drosophila funebris) on an apple. Its compound eyes (red) are seen and its wings are outstretched

Background imageInsecta Collection: Ophrys apifera, bee orchid

Ophrys apifera, bee orchid
Watercolour by Arthur Harry Church, 17 June 1913

Background imageInsecta Collection: Ocypus olens, devils coach horse beetle model

Ocypus olens, devils coach horse beetle model
A large scale model of the devils coach horse beetle (Ocypus olens). A beetle that is commonly found beneath logs. Held within the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageInsecta Collection: Mosquito in Dominican amber

Mosquito in Dominican amber
A mosquito in trapped and preserved in Dominican amber. Lower Miocene about 20 million years old. Image from Amber The Natural Time Capsule. Figure 90

Background imageInsecta Collection: Cladognathus sp. stag beetle

Cladognathus sp. stag beetle
A specimen of a large stag beetle from Asia. Stag beetles belong to the family (Lucanidae). Only male stag beetles have horns or antlers

Background imageInsecta Collection: H. W. Bates illustrated notebooks

H. W. Bates illustrated notebooks
Plate 7 from a notebook of Henry W. Bates (1825-92) relating to the insect fauna of the Amazon Valley or DRW, 1851-1854

Background imageInsecta Collection: Cimex lectularius, bed bug

Cimex lectularius, bed bug
Scanning electron microscope image of a bed bug (x 17). The sucking mouthparts enable the feeding bedbugs to pierce the hosts tissues and siphon out a blood meal

Background imageInsecta Collection: Longhorn beetle

Longhorn beetle

Background imageInsecta Collection: Schistocerca gregaria, desert locust

Schistocerca gregaria, desert locust
A desert locust perching on a branch. Locusts sometimes swarm to form groups of up to 80 million and can migrate over large distances

Background imageInsecta Collection: Pharmacophagus antenor, giant swallowtail

Pharmacophagus antenor, giant swallowtail
Giant swallowtail butterfly and the common rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae). Plate 15 from Insects of India by Edward Donovan (1768-1837)

Background imageInsecta Collection: Head louse, SEM

Head louse, SEM
Head louse. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) clinging to a human hair. Head lice measure 2-3 millimetres in length

Background imageInsecta Collection: Ant, SEM

Ant, SEM
Ant. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an ant (family Formicidae). One of its compound eyes (red) is seen, as well as two long antennae that are mounted on the head between the eyes

Background imageInsecta Collection: Swallowtail butterfly

Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio ulysses telegonus). This butterfly is also known as the blue mountain butterfly. It is native to Indonesia and Australia, inhabiting the rain forests

Background imageInsecta Collection: Bees and beehive, 17th century artwork

Bees and beehive, 17th century artwork. Bees are social insects that form colonies around a queen bee. They gather nectar and pollen to feed their larvae, also producing honey

Background imageInsecta Collection: Culex mosquito, SEM

Culex mosquito, SEM
Culex mosquito. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Culex sp. mosquito. The mosquitos head is dominated by its large compound eyes (brown spheres)

Background imageInsecta Collection: Fruit fly brain, illustration C018 / 0791

Fruit fly brain, illustration C018 / 0791
Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) brain, illustration. The two large structures at right and left are the optic lobes, which process information from the flys large compound eyes

Background imageInsecta Collection: Entomological specimens of Lepidoptera

Entomological specimens of Lepidoptera
Unidentified photograph of mounted specimens of butterflies and moths

Background imageInsecta Collection: Sabatia bartramii, savannah pink & Eacles imperialis, imperi

Sabatia bartramii, savannah pink & Eacles imperialis, imperi
Drawing 11 (Ewan 38) from the Botanical and zoological drawings (1756-1788) by William Bartram. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageInsecta Collection: Butterflies from the Amazon by H. W. Bates

Butterflies from the Amazon by H. W. Bates
A page (p 144) from a notebook of Henry W. Bates relating to the insect fauna of the Amazon Valley or DRW, 1851-1854

Background imageInsecta Collection: Leaf-cutter ants carrying pieces of leaf

Leaf-cutter ants carrying pieces of leaf
Leaf-cutter ants transporting neatly extracted pieces of leaf. These ants derive from the rainforests of Central and South America

Background imageInsecta Collection: Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, bees on wild honey cone, Welder Wildlife Refuge, Sinton

Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, bees on wild honey cone, Welder Wildlife Refuge, Sinton, Texas, USA

Background imageInsecta Collection: Beetle illustrations

Beetle illustrations
Double page spread of pencil and watercolour illustrations of beetles by Henry Walter Bates

Background imageInsecta Collection: Coloured sketches of insects

Coloured sketches of insects on Page 35 from Bates notebook 1. Bates was a renowned Victorian entomologist

Background imageInsecta Collection: Dragonflies and damselflies

Dragonflies and damselflies from Collection of Drawings by Dutch Artists, 17th-19th centuries. Held in the Entomology Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageInsecta Collection: Gromphadorhina portentosa, hissing cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa, hissing cockroach
A pair of hissing cockroaches also known as the Madagascan hissing cockroach. This species of roach is chocolate brown with no wings

Background imageInsecta Collection: Entomological specimens of Lepidoptera

Entomological specimens of Lepidoptera
Unidentified photograph of mounted specimens of butterflies and moths

Background imageInsecta Collection: Simulium damnosum, Simulian blackfly

Simulium damnosum, Simulian blackfly
Scanning electron microscope image of the head showing the compound eye (x 130). The fly is a vector of a parasite which causes River Blindness. Coloured artifically by computer

Background imageInsecta Collection: Flea illustration

Flea illustration
Page 201 from Micrographia or some Physiological description of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses (1665) by Robert Hooke

Background imageInsecta Collection: Papilio montrouzieri butterfly

Papilio montrouzieri butterfly. This butterfly is native to New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean



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"Insecta: A Kaleidoscope of Nature's Wonders" Ornithoptera alexandrae, commonly known as Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly, showcases its majestic beauty with vibrant hues and intricate patterns. Honey bees diligently work on a honeycomb, their teamwork and precision creating the sweet nectar we all enjoy. Entomology specimens offer a glimpse into the incredible diversity of insects, each specimen telling a unique story of adaptation and survival. The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) takes a moment to sunbathe on a plant, its wings spread wide to soak up the warm rays of sunlight. Common blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus) gracefully bask in the morning light at Vealand Farm in Devon, UK, painting the landscape with delicate shades of blue. The Chrysina limbata silver chafer beetle shines like molten metal under sunlight, reminding us that even tiny creatures can possess extraordinary allure. Inachis io or peacock butterfly captivates with its iridescent wings resembling an artist's masterpiece as it flutters through meadows and gardens. The Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta - embarks on a quest for nectar amidst blooming Common Boneset in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany; nature's harmonious dance between insect and flower unfolds before our eyes. Sea green swallowtail butterfly glides effortlessly through coastal landscapes, enchanting observers with its ethereal beauty against azure skies and emerald waves. Under microscopic scrutiny lies the intricate world of fruit flies (SEM Z340 / 0768), revealing their astonishing complexity despite their diminutive size – yet another reminder that appearances can be deceiving. Phoebis sennae or cloudless sulphur butterfly brings sunshine wherever it goes; its golden wings brightening up gardens and meadows with their radiant glow.