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.

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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)

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Leafcutter Bee (Megachile texana)

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Mason Bee (Dianthidium ulkei)

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Planthopper (Rhynchomitra)

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Leafcutter Bee (Megachile lanata)

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Horsefly (Tabanus atratus)

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Jumping Spider

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Orchard spider (Leucauge venusta)

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Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly (Calopteryx maculata)

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Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica)

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