Insects are pretty much the raison d'etre of macro photography. And while there are plenty examples out there, this collection of hundreds of high-res creepy crawlies collected by the U.S. Geological Survey deserves some special attention.

The photos come to us from the USGS Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab—part of a government agency that collects and studies wildlife data. Needless to say, there are plenty of bees in the gallery, as well as other specimens like flowers, butterflies, beetles, even snakes.


You could spend hours studying the minute detail of these high-res images that are all free to download and use under the Creative Commons license. Here are a few of our particular favorites, but you can download full size high resolution files here. [via Nerdcore]

Haverstman Spider (Leiobunum flavum)

Sweat Bee (Lasioglossum foxii)

Leafcutter Bee (Megachile texana)

Mason Bee (Dianthidium ulkei)

Planthopper (Rhynchomitra)

Leafcutter Bee (Megachile lanata)

Horsefly (Tabanus atratus)

Jumping Spider

Orchard spider (Leucauge venusta)

Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly (Calopteryx maculata)

Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica)