The winners of the National Insect Week Photography Competition have just been announced by the Royal Entomological Society.


A record 2,443 entries were received from amateur photographers in 72 countries during 2020. Each winning photograph captures a moment in the busy and often beautiful lives of insects. People of all ages have been discovering the smaller animals we see around us every day, even during the pandemic.

Head judge Dr Tim Cockerill from Falmouth University’s Institute of Photography said “In a year that has been memorable for all the wrong reasons it is wonderful to see how so many people around the world have taken solace in nature".

“Life has gone on as normal for insects and it’s clear that watching wildlife has been a great comfort to many of us. Every one of the photographs entered into the competition represents someone turning their attention to insects. They are truly fascinating animals and are all around us, but often go unnoticed. Photographs like these really allow us to appreciate them and the great many roles they play in nature.”

Take a look at some of our other galleries:


Winner of the over 18s category - German wasps drinking

1st Prize Over18 Alan Clark
The winner in the over-18s’ category German wasps drinking by Alan Clark features a group of German wasps ( Vespula germanica). Photographed in the UK. Alan Clark/Royal Entomological Society

Winner of the Under 18s Category - Marmalade hoverfly

1st Prize Under18 James Spensley
In the under-18s’ category, Marmalade hoverfly on a pink flower by Jamie Spensley (age 17) is a bold and striking composition featuring a hoverfly nestled within a flower from an impressive young wildlife photographer. Photographed in the UK. James Spensley/Royal Entomological Society

Specially Commended - Ready For The Party

Ready for the party
A Caterpillar photographed in Malaysia by photographer Phooi Leng Ho. Phooi Leng Ho/Royal Entomological Society

2nd Place Over 18s Category - Aphid Family

A Family of small sap-sucking Aphids photographed by Petar Sabol, Croatia
A Family of small sap-sucking Aphids photographed by Petar Sabol in Croatia. Petar Sabol/Royal Entomological Society

Specially Commended Over 18s - Southern Festoon

Southern Festoon butterfly- Zerynthia polyxena. Photographed by Peter Sabol in Croatia.
Southern Festoon butterfly ( Zerynthia polyxena). Photographed by Peter Sabol in Croatia. Peter Sabol/Royal Entomological Society

Highly Commended - Bridging weaver ants

Weaver ants- (Oecophylla smaragdina) making a bridge on the gap found on its passage. Photographed in India.
Weaver ants ( Oecophylla smaragdina) making a bridge on the gap found on its passage. Photographed in India. Karunakaran Parameswaran Pillai/Royal Entomological Society

Highly Commended - Walking Through Time

Ladybird on seedhead by Elizabeth Cooksey. Photographed in the UK
A Ladybird resting on a seed head by Elizabeth Cooksey. Photographed in the UK. Elizabeth Cooksey/Royal Entomological Society

Highly Commended - Here Comes The Sun

Photographed in the UK
A gorgeous dragonfly captured in golden light by Simon Carder. Photographed in the UK Simon Carder/Royal Entomological Society

2nd Place Under 18s Category - Epeolus Bee

An Epeolus spp bee on common ragwort. Photographed in the UK.
An Epeolus Cuckoo bee on common ragwort. Photographed in the UK. Jamie Spensley/Royal Entomological Society

Highly Commended Under 18s - Super-strength

An ant demonstrating super strength. Photographed in the UK.
An ant demonstrating its super strength. Photographed by Will Lawson in the UK Will Lawson/Royal Entomological Society

Highly Commended Over 18s - European paper wasp

European paper wasp photographed by Pascal Grüner in Germany
European paper wasp ( Polistes dominula) photographed by Pascal Grüner in Germany. Pascal Grüner/Royal Entomological Society

Specially commended - A Mother's Love

A shield Bug (possibly Cantao ocellatus) protecting its larvae. Photographed In Malaysia. Phooi Leng Ho/Royal Entomological Society

Specially Commended - Robber Fly

Gnat ogre robber fly (Holcocephala fusca), photographed in the USA.
Gnat ogre robber fly ( Holcocephala fusca), photographed in the USA. Andrew Murray/Royal Entomological Society

Check out all of the winners and runners-up at


James CutmorePicture Editor, BBC Science Focus

James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs