Very few of us ever get this close to a beetle; however these talented photographers have done just that, showing a more other-worldly look at these imposing insects.

Net-Winged beetle (Lycidae sp) by Mika Andrianoelison

Mika shot this net-winged beetle on a micro-safari tour in the garden in Antananarivo, Madagascar, a few minutes before dusk in the rainy season.

He told BBC Earth that, when coming face-to-face with beetles, “You can never predict exactly what is going to happen next, I find it challenging to try to capture their natural poses and their everyday life.”

See Mika’s original image in Flickr

Sardinian stag beetle (Dorcus musimon) by Rinaldo Riva

Rinaldo found this male stag beetle in the countryside of north Sardinia.

“I love nature and macro photography and it's really a beautiful guy to shoot with its great face,” he said.

See Rinaldo’s original image in Flickr

Rhinoceros beetle (Xylotrupes gideon) by Michael Doe

This impressive rhinoceros beetle really stands out against the background colour. They can grow up to 6cm in size and are found across most of South East Asia.

Michael told BBC Earth that, “The colours in the background are gum leaves and flowers.”

See Michael’s original image in Flickr

Ground beetle (Catascopus sp) by David Ball

David took this photograph of a relatively large ground beetle in Singapore; it is about 2cm in length.

“It's a very skittish beetle and difficult to photograph so you need lots of time and patience, its behaviour is to dart, stop then dart again, usually heading for the dark underside of a fallen log,” he said.

See David’s original image in Flickr

Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) by Mark Horton

Moths are not the only visitors to Mark's moth traps on Surrey Heath, UK. In the warmer months he quite often finds sleepy cockchafers hanging around in the early morning.

“They may not be much fun when they're clumsily buzzing loudly around your ears, but through a macro lens, up close and personal, they are fascinating and even beautiful insects – at least to me,” Mark told BBC Earth.

See Mark’s original image in Flickr

Stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) by Robert Blanken

Robert was excited to see several stag beetles while on holiday in Slovenia, as they are hardly seen where he lives in the Netherlands.

“They are a little bit clumsy, this one landed in the grass. While I was taking some pictures, the beetle suddenly showed its wings and flew away. So it is more or less a lucky shot,” he said.

See Robert’s original image in Flickr

Western Hercules beetle (Dynastes granti) by Marlin Harms

Western Hercules beetles are a large species of rhinoceros beetle that can grow to a massive 8cm in size; females lack the impressive horn seen in this male.

This fine example is from southeast Arizona, USA.

See Marlin’s original image in Flickr

Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) by Antony Cooper

On being face-to-face with a beetle Antony said, “One thing I can say is that the last thing a beetle wants to be is face to face with me, or my lens. They will go to any lengths to show me their behind and a clean pair of heels!”

See Antony’s original image in Flickr

Tiger beetle (Cicindelinae sp) by Simon Lai

Macro photography is a hobby for Simon, who took this amazing photograph of a tiger beetle in the Bukit Apeh region of Malaysia.

“I found this tiger beetle sleeping on a leaf one morning, that is how I managed to get this close-up shot, near a small stream. Normally they are very active on the ground, and move fast when we try to photograph them,” he told BBC Earth.

See Simon’s original image in Flickr

Trunk beetle (Curculionidae sp) by Sergio Calixto

Some children helped Sergio take this picture of a large black trunk beetle in a garden in São Paulo, Brazil.

As Sergio got closer “I saw it was a beautiful and large beetle trunk,” he said.

See Sergio’s original image in Flickr

Brown flower beetle (Cetoniinae sp) by Deb Yarrow

Deb was crawling around in her local botanic garden in Brisbane, Australia, when she came across this beetle in the flowers.

On being face-to-face with a beetle, Deb commented, “First you need to be on the same level, unfortunately I couldn’t find a paper daisy 1.5m tall, so I had to get in the dirt – all part of the workflow for a dedicated macro photographer!”

See Deb‘s original image in Flickr

Thank you to all the photographers who gave BBC Earth permission use their images.

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