By Jonathan Amos-BBC Science Correspondent
https://www.bbc.com-image source Gil Wizen/WPY
image caption Sabethes mosquito: Only the females blood-feed, and only when they’re about to produce eggs
You can’t help but marvel at its beauty. This female mosquito, with its fabulous furry legs and iridescent shimmer, is a total stunner.
It’s one of the Sabethes species found in central and South America.
What a shame this particular specimen also happens to be an important carrier of tropical disease.
Scroll down this page and you can enjoy some of the other highly commended images in what is the 57th year of the prestigious contest.
Gil is an entomologist by training, so he really understands his subjects. And to get this kind of shot requires a lot of planning, patience – and even some pain.
He describes Sabethes mosquitoes as being extremely skittish and difficult to photograph well, especially in the constant heat and humidity of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, where this picture was taken.
“The mosquito responds to the tiniest of movements and to changes in light intensity,” he told me.
“This means you must stay very still while attempting to photograph it, and also be prepared for the mosquito’s escape if using a flash. Fortunately, you are never alone with a single mosquito, because usually there are dozens of them hovering over your head.
“These mosquitoes are important vectors of several tropical diseases, such as yellow fever and dengue fever. While taking the photo, I was bitten by this mosquito and several others, increasing the risk of contracting a vector-borne tropical disease. But I am still alive!”
Anyone who’s ever tried to take an insect picture will recognise that Gil has had to “stack” several differently focussed images to get the depth of field necessary to show all of the detail along its body.