Beetles! Behind-the-scenes photography at the NHM.

Hello! I spent yesterday at the Natural History Museum, lending my photography skills to the Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division (which roughly translates as ‘beetles department’). I was presented with a jewel box of Tanzanian beetles, and was asked to take close-up portraits for their beetle database and. I was also given free reign to take as many ‘arty’ shots as I liked! Let’s just say I was in heaven. Most of the ‘literal’ shots will end up on the NHM Beetles and Bugs Flickr page, so I’ve mostly included creative photos here. Enjoy!


Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-07From this angle, it looks like a tiny dragon! (‘You arty people love your weird angles, don’t you!’)


Helena-Maratheftis-beetle-pattern2I couldn’t help but create a pattern out of these gorgeous, flame-hued beetles.

Helena-Maratheftis-beetle-pattern1 Helena-Maratheftis-beetle-pattern3I love the subtle variations in shape and pattern. Nature is just too cool.

Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-04Real entomologists wear beetle earrings.

Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-06Pins and forceps: Tools of the trade.


Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-05A very small section of the collection: Green lockers full of trays and trays of specimens.

Helena-Maratheftis-coleoptera-beetles-10Below are two examples of amazing antennae.



As you might already know, I studied biology at university back in the day, and I have a massive weakness for any project with a scientific edge. I’ll be going to the museum once a week for the foreseeable future, so watch this space (as well as the NHM Coleoptera Flickr Photostream) for more photographs!

3 thoughts on “Beetles! Behind-the-scenes photography at the NHM.

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