Nikon has announced the winning photos from the 2018 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, the 44th annual contest celebrating “excellence in photography through the light microscope.”
The first place photo, Eye of a “Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer” beetle captured by Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, shows part of the compound eye of an Asian Red Palm weevil and the greenish scales that surround it. The beetle is usually less than 0.43in (11mm) in length.
Al Habshi created the photo using reflected light and by stacking 128 micrographs into a single photo.
“The main challenge was to show the black body against the black background without overexposing the skin and scales,” the photographer says. “Because of the variety of coloring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I’m photographing a collection of jewelry. Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects.
“Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world which hasn’t been seen before. It’s like discovering what lies under the ocean’s surface.”
Here is a selection of other winning photos from this year’s competition:
Eye of a “Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer” beetle, Yousef Al Habshi
2nd place. Fern sorus (structures producing and containing spores). Rogelio Moreno Gill of Panama, Panama.
Bug in Bubble House
3rd place. Spittlebug nymph in its bubble house. Saulius Gugis of Naperville, Illinois, USA
4th place. Peacock feather section. Can Tunçer of İzmir, Turkey
5th place. Parasteatoda tepidariorum (spider embryo) stained for embryo surface (pink), nuclei (blue) and microtubules (green). Dr. Tessa Montague, Harvard University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Primate foveola (central region of the retina). Hanen Khabou of Paris, France
Human tear drop. Norm Barker, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine of Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Portrait of Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil). Pia Scanlon, Government of Western Australia of South Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Security hologram, Dr. Haris Antonopoulos
Stalks and Pollen
Stalks with pollen grains. Dr. Csaba Pintér, University of Pannonia, Georgikon Faculty of Keszthely, Hungary
Human Cell Division
Human fibroblast undergoing cell division, showing actin (gray), myosin II (green) and DNA (magenta). Nilay Taneja, Vanderbilt Universit of Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Butterfly Wing Scales
Urania ripheus (butterfly) wing scales. Luciano Andres Richino of Ramos Mejia, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
“Balanus glandula” (acorn barnacle), Charles Krebs
A Mite on a Bee
Varroa destructor (mite) on the back of Apis mellifera (honeybee). Antoine Franck of Saint Pierre, Réunion Island, France
Breast Tissue in Lactation
Breast tissue in lactation: Milk filled spheres (red) surrounded by tiny muscle cells that squeeze out milk (yellow) and immune cells that monitor for infection (blue). Caleb Dawson of Melbourne, Australia
Vespa velutina (Asian hornet) with venom on its stinger. Pierre Anquet of La Tour-du-Crieu, Ariège, France
African green monkey cell (COS-7) stained for actin and microtubules, Andrew Moore & Dr. Erika Holzbaur
Mouse oviduct vasculature, Dr. Amanda D. Phillips Yzaguirre
Amino acid crystals (L-glutamine and beta-alanine), Justin Zoll
Human retina, Dr. Nicolás Cuenca & Isabel