Published: 08:59 EDT, 23 October 2020 | Updated: 10:10 EDT, 23 October 2020

Mofeed Abu Shalwa was the overall winner in the first Luminar bug photographer of the year competition with this photograph of a red palm weevilfound infecting a palm tree in Saudi Arabia

The Luminar young bug photographer of the year 2020 winner was 17-year-old Jamie Spensley from the UK who captured this close up image of a common carder bee captured resting on a leaf in Cornwall

A flower crab spider in Saudi Arabia was another entry by overall prize winner Mofeed Abu Shalwa . The flower crab spider can alter the colour of its body to blend in with its surroundings

Li Feng shared this image named ‘Lookand claimed 3rd place in the beetles category. It features a longhorn beetle on a leaf that appears to be looking back at you

A stunning close up image of a red palm weevil looking ready for a boxing match was the overall winner at the first Lumina Bug Photography Awards competition, that featured dozens of images of a world rarely seen.

With bulging eyes and quizzical looks on their faces, the bugs and insects captured by photographers from around the world have never looked more human.

With impeccable detail, nature fans can see the tiny feet of the red palm weevil and staring eyes of the dragon fly, there are action shots of arachnids and underwater scenes featuring crabs, jellyfish and octopi.

More than 800 insect fanatics submitted shots to the inaugural competition, with Mofeed Abu Shalwa, from Saudi Arabia, crowned photographer of the year for his image of a red palm weevil in incredible detail.

Galice Hoarau’s ‘Diamond Squidwas the winner of the aquatic bugs category. It was captured in Indonesia. The squid is a large species found throughout the world in tropical and subtropical waters

Reynante Martinez took this image dubbed ‘Tug of Warand won the ‘All Other Bugscategory in the competition. It features two weaver ants pulling apart a smaller ant thought to be a fire ant

‘Home Sweet Home’, this image by Lee Frost took the top prize in the Bug Homes category and shows two different species of bee inside a bug hotelincluding a Willughby’s leafcutter (right) and Andrena bee (left)

Mofeed started photographing bugs as a way of overcoming his childhood phobia of insects and wowed judges with his high level of ‘technical skill and creativity’.

Jamie Spensley, of Solihull, West Midlands, scooped the young photographer of the year gong, with the 17-year-old capturing a ‘technically brilliant shotof a carder bee that was shot handheld.

He said it was a particularly difficult shot to get as it had to be done handheld, so ‘focus stacking was a nightmare’, adding he couldn’t do it automatically so had to mask out all of the out-of-focus areas in each of the 40 images he used to produce the final image. In the end he was ‘very happy with the result’.

Winning the arachnid category, this image dubbed ‘Microspurwas taken by Lung-Tsai Wang and features a macro shot of an unnamed spider with lots of smaller spiders

Peter Orr captured this serene view of three mayfly on a crested dogstail in the village of Kintbury, Berkshire. Orr says they came from a large hatch of mayflies on the River Kennet. Mayfly are among the world’s most transient insects, living short lives making them harder to capture

Christian Brockes named this image ‘3…2…1.. Take off!’ that won the Beetles category. It features an Acorn weevil (Curculio glandium) taking off from a leaf near Essen in Germany

Mike Betts, who ran the competition, said: ‘These awards showcase the incredible variety and complexity of the world of invertebrates, and give those who photograph them an opportunity to have their talent recognised.

‘Our planet is facing an array of environmental and ecological challenges, and few more pressing than the huge recent declines in many invertebrate populations.

‘We’re proud to be able to support Buglife’s crucial conservation efforts, and to use these awards as a means to carry their message about the plight of invertebrates.

Simply dubbed Snail, this image by David Lain took top prizes in the Snails and Slugs category. The picture, taken near Richmond, involved placing the snail on a ceramic black tile then ‘playing with lightingto get the reflective view

Some of the second place and runner up images were equally as stunning, including this image dubbed ‘little antby Roger Mepsted, who took 2nd place in the Extreme Close-Up category.

Chris Ruijter named this ‘Purple Hazeand used it to take 3rd place in the Flies, Bees, Wasps and Dragonflies Category. It features a damselfly in the Netherlands watching the purple sky in the background

Matt Shardlow, chief executive of charity Buglife, which supported the competition, congratulated all of the participants, saying we ‘only save things we know and lovewhich ‘sadly seldom applies to bugs.

He said without bugs, life as we know it would come to an end, so hopefully these new awards will ‘bring people closer to the beauty and value of our multi-legged friends.

The awards were launched this year to celebrate invertebrates photography, and raise awareness of the plight of so many invertebrates specieswho have seen severe population declines.

The Eyes Have It! This bug eyed digger wasp was the focus of the 2nd place winning image by Rory J Lewis in the Flies, Bees, Wasps and Dragonflies category. At the time the photo was taken, near Gloucester, the wasp was sheltering indoors

Mofeed Abu Shalwa captured this image dubbed ‘Blue Longhorn Beetlethat didn’t win but was shortlisted in the beetles category. The species are flat, blue-gray, with variable black spots, including a prominent one on the thorax, a silky one in front, and a small one in back

Mofeed Abu Shalwa also captured this image named ‘Ladybug inside the flowerthat was shortlisted in the beetles category. It looks more like a painting than a photograph. Coccinellidae is a family of small beetles reaching no more than 0.71 inches

As well as the overall and youth winners, other categories included aquatic bugs, going to a picture of a diamond squid by Galice Hoarau and arachnids going to a picture of a microspurl by Lung-Tsai Wang.

Pictures of beetles also had a category of their own, with a picture of a beetle ready to take off by Christian Brockes taking first prize in that group of images.

Other flying insects and bugs were grouped together including flies, bees, wasps and dragonflies, with top prize going to a picture of three mayfly on a crested dogstail by Peter Orr.

Sara Jazbar’s ‘Aporia in infraredtook 3rd place in the butterflies and moths category. The Aporia butterfly seen here was captured using a combination of infrared and macro photography, the species is large and widespread

Simon Hadleigh-Sparks captured this image he called ‘Speed Stripesto take 2nd place in the mobile phone photography category.â¿¿Mobile Phone’ category. Using an iPhone 5s, he captured the snail in London as it moved over a leaf

Bence Mate captured this image called ‘Tailoredto win 2nd place in the All Other Bugs category. It features the shadows of leaf cutter ants on a leaf, shot from underneath

Galice Hoarau’s ‘Wunderpussclaimed 2nd place in the aquatic bugs category. The wunderpus octopus is a small-bodied species of octopus and this was captured during a blackwater dive in Indonesia

Butterflies and moths, snails and slugs and all other bugs also had their own categories with everything from a tug of war between two ants, a mirrored snailand a swallowtail butterfly winning top prize.

Over 5,000 images were submitted from around the globe, competing for a total prize pool of £23,000.

The judging panel contained well-known figures including Buglife President, Germaine Greer; TV presenter and naturalist Nick Baker; and ground-breaking invertebrates photographer Levon Biss.

The competition first opened in May 2020 with the final entries submitted by September 2020. All photographers could enter up to eight images in each of the ten main categories.

The photographers had to pay to enter the competition, with a £6 charge for a single image and £80 charge for uploading the maximum number of 80 images.

All bugs had to be alive and well in order for the photo to be entered, as any methodsuch as freezing, spraying, pinning or killingto keep them still was banned.

Fabio Sartori named his imageDo you see me…?”, featuring a large-eyed small dragonfly hiding behind a blade of grass in the early morning. He claimed 3rd place in the mobile phone category using a Xiaomi Mi 9T phone

Neil Phillips named his imageLarge Red Damselfly Nymphand used it to take 3rd place in the aquatic bug category. It features a close up on the head of a large red damselfly nymph in an aquarium

This menacing looking image isn’t the cover of an alien invasion poster, but an image by overall winner Mofeed Abu Shalwa that one 3rd place in the Extreme Close-Up category. The image is named ‘Bee Xylocopa Violaceaand features a carpenter bee that is famed for the fact it nests in hard plant material such as dead wood or bamboo

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World news – GB – Image of a red palm weevil wins top prize in photography competition

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