Here’s an image for the textbooks:
Ants, like butterflies, pass through egg, larva, and pupa phases on their way to adulthood. While in Florida earlier in this summer I found a nest of the twig ant Pseudomyrmex gracilis with brood present in all stages, providing the material to make these images.
The key was placing the developing ants on a glass slide. This provided distance between them and the cardboard background, so that the backdrop is blurred while the insects remain in sharp focus. These images are not what I’d call fine art, but I’m happy with them as solid illustrations of ant biology.
photo details (both photos): Canon mp-e 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/11, 1/160 sec, twin flash diffused through tracing paper