They are among the planet's smallest creatures, yet they have the power to change the world. Through the art of macro photography, their world comes to life in this selection from our 2019 Photographic Competition entries in the Africa’s Plants and Insects (Macro) category.
King of the dung – Manuel Alexander Graf, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
I like the less-photographed animals, like insects or rodents. I always had one image in my mind, absolutely love to take! I knew that there would be a good chance at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. So I tried my luck on a rainy morning... AND I was lucky! I call this image... ‘King of the dung’.
A bugs life – Udo Kieslich, Hogsback, South Africa
This little crab spider was photographed just outside our room at Hogsback. Focus stacking was used to obtain sufficient DOF, but thankfully it was a windstill day and the model was extremely patient.
Clever but devious little daisy – Peet J van Eeden, Hantam Botanical Garden, Nieuwoudtville, South Africa
The beetle daisy (Gorteria diffusa) is the great pretender. It can flower in 14 different ways. The black spots on the petals were once thought to represent beetles hence the name beetle daisy. These spots imitate female bee flies to attract male bee flies. The male bee flies pseudo copulate with these.
‘New Life’ Cicada – Brian Ashby, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Incredible to witness this marvel of nature.
‘Princess of my Domain’ – Brian Ashby, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
One of southern Africa’s bigger jumping spiders. This one is a female.
What Are You Looking At? Sushil Chauhan, Nairobi, Kenya
Paper Wasp attracted by sweet-smelling pollen.
Mantis mimic – Johann Mader, Kruger National Park, South Africa
A praying mantis I found that was mimicking the bark of a tree as well as the colouration of the lichen. Mantises use these forms of camouflage to lure their prey.
Orb Spider in Morning Light – Judy Bowen
Horizontal orb spider, underexposed in the morning sunlight and positioned obliquely in order to catch the sun on the web strands.
Dragonfly – Jason Boyce, Inhambane, Mozambique
A striking dragonfly perched on a twig near Inhambane, Mozambique
Dance of Life! - Dan Mackenzi, Balule, South Africa
Dragonfly, ant and bee dance across the hot ground, sipping life-giving droplets of water.
Portrait of a Jumper – Judy Bowen
Little jumpers seem to bravely face their reflections in the camera’s lens. The heavy dew after rain adds some drama to the image.