Hello! This post is part of my Natural History Museum series – I’ve been lending my photography skills to the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’ (which roughly translates as ‘beetles department’). I will be sharing my favourite images with you every week, so stay tuned!
This week I photographed glow worms. You might be surprised (and relieved?) to hear that they’re actually beetles, not worms! Some of the specimens at the museum are truly beautiful, with ridiculously long and elaborate antennae.
The above specimen is special for two reasons. Firstly, because of those antennae. Secondly – and more importantly – because it is a type specimen. In other words, this particular individual is the ‘flagship’ specimen by which all others of its species are verified. The species’ name and description are officially attached to this one beetle, making it very precious indeed.
Some of the specimens are very old, and I love the delicate, typewritten (or hand written) labels.
Above: A wooden tray full of specimens. Below: A close up. Each specimen, no matter how tiny, has a lot of information attached to it on tiny labels. This not only includes species names, but exactly how/where/when it was collected, and whether it is a type specimen.
If you’d like to see more from the glow worm photoshoot, visit the NHM Beetle Blog.
You can also click here to see last week’s photos.