A Beautiful Collection of Insects

The USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program is program run by biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey in Maryland. Part of their work is to develop identification tools and keys for native bee species by creating accurate and detailed pictures of native bees and the plants and insects they interact with. The biologists set up a mini studio surrounded by a styrofoam cooler with a black background to make their macro shots, stacking anywhere from 30 to 300 photos to get an image in focus. They have shared their collection of more than 1,200 photos online, from whuich I've selected the following 20 below. [20 photos total]

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Eugloss dilemma, a male orchid bee from the Biscayne National Monument in Florida. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Leiobunum flavum, a species of arachnids known as harvestmen, from Beltsville, Maryland -- from the collection of Dejen Mengis. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Exomalopsis analis, a bee from the Dominican Republic. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
An Oak Timberworm, Arrhenodes minutus, found at a moth light owned by photographer Sam Droege. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Apple Bark Borer moth, Synanthedon pyri, found in Beltsville, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Xylocopa cubaecola, a female Cuban Carpenter Bee, found on the base of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Harlequin bug eggs, Murgantia histrionica, a common pest of brassicas, these were raised by the Weber USDA lab at Beltsville, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Unknown Jumping spider, Beltsville, Maryland, possibly an immature Thiodina sylvana. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Augochloropsis metallica, a bee collected in Laurel, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Unknown Wasp, Yellowstone National Park. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Buffalo Treehopper, unknown species in the genus Ceresa, Collected in Beltsville, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Chlorion aerarium, the Steel Blue Cricket Hunter, a wasp found in Cumberland, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Curculionidae, unknown large weevil from Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Leucauge venusta, Orchard Orb Weaver, Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Gratiana pallidula beetle, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Rove beetle, Staphylinidae, species unknown, found at moth light in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Trichiotinus assimilis, a common Flower Chafer scarab beetle. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Tabanidae, unknown Deer Fly form near Bowie, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Unknown spider found March 21, 2013 in a steam tunnel underneath the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center, possibly Pholcus phalangioides. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #
Tabanus atratus, Black Horse Fly, found in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (CC BY USGS/Sam Droege) #

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