Studio stack: Head louse

Studio stack: Head louse

Pediculus capitis (Pediculus humanus capitis), (Pediculidae) human head louse
2.5 mm

This year in March my son finally came through with some head lice! Here is one of them (I think it's a female).

Stacked from 146 exposures in Zerene Stacker. 

Sony NEX-7, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10X/0.28, morfanon, Nikon PB-6 bellows.

Studio stack: Bed Bug

Studio stack: Bed Bug

Bed bug, Cimex lectularius, Cimicidae
Size: 5 mm

This is newly fed specimen – engorged with my blood (its last meal before freezing/preparation). 

This is a species even devout bug fanatics are a bit wary of. Not because they are dangerous (they are not) but if you get them in your home they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Especially since they've become resistant against pretty much every pesticide we've come up with (at least disregarding the ones that are not safe for use in a human home). 

I had a few of these "charming fellows" sent to me from the University of Sheffield (thanks Michael!). Only after they'd ensured me that their line of Cimex had spent so many generations in the lab that they had forgotten "how to bedbug". And even if they did recall it somehow, they were still sensitive to even our weakest pesticides.

So I kept them in the fridge for a few months and fed them a couple of times. I'll add a few shots of a feeding specimen in the comment section.

This was shot and stacked in 2010 – just realized I never got around to posting it. 

Stacked from 239 exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, morfanon tube lens, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10/0.28

Earthworm in the studio II

Earthworm in the studio II

Lumbricidae (Unknown species)
Size ≈ 40 mm

This is a studio portrait of a relatively small earthworm.

Stacked in Zerene Stacker from 40 exposures. 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Reversed Apo-Componon 60/4


Studio stack: Ostoma

Studio stack: Ostoma

Ostoma ferruginea, Trogossitidae
Size 9 mm

A different take on the species from the last post. This dead/prepared specimen was borrowed from a friend's collection.

This is was shot in the studio with darkfield style lighting (light coming from behind). See the comment section on flickr for more info!

Stacked from 160 exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5X 0,14, morfanon tube lens.


Studio stack: Ceruchus eye, 20X

Studio stack: Ceruchus eye, 20X

Ceruchus chrysomelinus ♂ (Lucanidae)
Size: 16 mm (field of view: 1.5 mm)

This is a 20X view of the eye of this stag beetle. I found the pitted texture surrounding the eye to be particularly interesting. This species is very rare here in Sweden (I'm yet to find one in the field). This specimen was borrowed from Stanislav's collection (collected by him in the eastern part of the Czech Republic). It's been featured at lower magnification in a couple of earlier posts.

Stacked from 156 exposures in Zerene Stacker. Shot at ≈20X and slightly cropped.

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Apo-Gerogon 210/9 (acting as tube lens), Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 20/0.42 microscope objective


Studio stack: Long-jawed orb weaver

Studio stack: Long-jawed orb weaver

Studio stack: Pachygnatha clercki ♂, Tetragnathidae
Size: 6 mm (inlcuding chelicerae)

Posting this studio stacked image taken in early 2012 to celebrate that my book "Bugs Up Close" is now available in English from Amazon and elsewhere:

I haven't seen the English print version yet, but can only hope the print/production quality is on par with the Swedish, Finnish and Danish editions.


This little spider was found in the winter while searching for hibernating bugs (two years ago). I shot it in the field as documented in this video clip from the occasion: I brought the specimen with me for ID. It was preserved in the freezer for a few months.

Stacked from 301 images in Zerene Stacker. Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10/0,28, morfanon tube lens.

More info:


Studio stack: Neomida

Studio stack: Neomida

♂ Neomida haemorrhoidalis, Tenebrionidae

Size: 6 mm

Studio portrait of this horned little darkling beetle (dead/prepared specimen). It's not very common here in Sweden. Found in an old bracket fungus growing on a dead birch.

Females lack the protruding hornes above the eyes.

Stacked from 274 exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Nikon PB-6 bellows, morfanon tube lens, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10/0.28


Studio stack: Xylotrechus

Studio stack: Xylotrechus

Xylotrechus rusticus, Aspen zebra beetle, Cerambycidae (long horned beetles)
Size: 17 mm

Studio portrait of this very common long horned beetle. In the comment section on flickr: you'll find some field shots as well as a youtube-clip featuring this beetle. 

This species is not as colorful as some of its close relatives but it's beautifully shaped and I'm always pleased to find it. Funny how some species becomes "favorites" despite the fact that you can't put your finger on exactly what makes them special... In this case there might simply be some pavlovian explanation behind it – these guys show up my favorite time of year (June) when everything is pleasant: sun is shining, birds are singing and everything is growing, breeding, living...

This portrait shows a dead/prepared specimen, shot under studio conditions and stacked from 120 exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5/0.14 microscope objective, morfanon tube lens, Nikon PB-6 bellows.


Earthworm in the studio!

Earthworm in the studio!


Unknown earthworm species Lumbricidae

80 mm in length


Tomorrow (March 6th) marks the release of our children's book Minimonster i naturen (website ») here in Sweden!


This earthworm is one of the featured bugs in the book. Like most images in the book it was shot specifically for this, and here I wanted to capture the bristles called setae on the worm's body! They provide grip against the substrate and thus help the worm to move both forward and backward!


This is a studio stack of a prepared specimen. It's stacked from 45 exposures and in Zerene stacker.


Canon 5DmkII + Nikon PB-6 bellows + reversed Schneider-Kreuznach Apo-Componon 60/4

Studio stack: Cuckoo wasp

Studio stack: Cuckoo wasp

A species in the difficult Chrysis ignita group.
Size: 7-8 mm

Posting this from my hotel room one day before the opening of my biggest exhibition yet at ABECITA Museum of Modern Art in Borås, Sweden. This image is one of 62 large format prints (averaging at above 100cm).

This particular image is also featured in my most recent book "Livet som minimonster" ("Life as a mini-monster") – a children's book focusing on the fascinating life cycles of insects and spiders (see comment section). 

Stacked from 178 exposures in Zerene Stacker. 

Sony NEX-7, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10/0.28, 170mm tube-lens ("morfanon"), Nikon PB-6 bellows, Cognisys StackShot.