A new collection of images launched this week by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History reveal in stunning detail the intricacies of insect anatomy. Each image is a composite of around 8,000 individual photos, with the artist Levon Biss painstakingly adjusting the lighting and settings for each one to best highlight the microscopic details of his subjects, right down to individual hairs, pores and eye facets. The above image shows a branch-backed treehopper, a cicada-like insect which has a bizarre characteristic ornament, known as the helmet. This can take many different diverse forms, and although it was previously thought that it was simply an extension of the pronotum (the first segment of the thorax), a recent study of its structure and development has in fact demonstrated that the helmet could represent a third set of wings!
Images courtesy of Levon Biss and the OUMNH. See the full collection here. The exhibition at the OUMNH is open from 27th May-30th October 2016.