Earlier I listed my pick of the best insect photos of the year taken by other photographers. Now it’s my turn. In 2009, I snapped 8000 exposures to produce 805 processed, saleable images of live insects. Below are my favorites.

A parasitic Pseudacteon fly targets a fire ant in Argentina

Male size variation in Onthophagus dung beetles

Aphaenogaster ants are tempted by the elaiosome of a bloodroot seed, Illinois

Eastern treehole mosquito larvae, Illinois

Trophallaxis in wood ants, Wisconsin

Face to face with a giant water bug, Illinois

male and female northern walking sticks, Illinois

metamorphosis in a twig ant, Florida

A miniature trap-jaw ant forages in the leaf litter, Florida

A volley of debris hurled by an ant lion traps a carpenter ant, Florida

The tip of the trap-jaw ant's trap, Argentina