First prize winner: Rotifer showing the inside of the mouth and the beautiful heart shaped corona. Differential interference contrast. (Rogelio Moreno)

Nikon announced the winners of its 40th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition Thursday, just in time for Halloween. Long-time contributor Rogelio Moreno of Panama took first prize in this year’s competition for capturing a rarely seen glance of a rotifer’s open mouth interior and heart-shaped corona. A rotifer is a a tiny aquatic animal. The awards are presented to over 80 photographers and scientists around the world, recognizing them for their excellence in photomicrography. “With the rotifer in constant motion, [Moreno] utilized the flash to freeze the movement as soon as the mouth opened – still leaving him with only a one- or two-second window to take the photo, and possibly only one shot to get it right,” Nikon explains of how Morena was able to achieve his photograph.

Honorable mentions also went to 10 additional photographers and scientists. Top images from the 2014 Nikon Small World Competition will be exhibited in a full-color calendar and through a national museum tour.

Jumping Spider Eyes (Noah Fram-Schwartz)

Rhombohedral cleavage in calcite crystal. (Alessandro Da Mommio)

House cricket’s tongue (Acheta domesticus (25x) (Stefano Barone)

Montana Dryhead agate, unpolished (50x). Fiber optic illumination (Douglas L. Moore)

Caterpillar proleg with circle of gripping hooks in red (20x). Confocal, Autofluorescence. (Karin Panser)

Appendages of a common brine shrimp (100x). Confocal (Dr. Igor Robert Siwanowicz)

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) ovary fixed and stained to show lectins (red) and nuclei (blue) (63x) (Meritxell Vendrell)

Conochilus unicornis colony. (Charles Krebs)

Bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells stained for actin (pink), mitochondria (green) and DNA (yellow). Super-Resolution Microscopy. (Muthugapatti K. Kandasamy)

Three transgenic kidneys cultured together, showing colliding branching collecting duct systems (20x) Confocal. (Dr. Nils Lindström)

Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) (80x) Macroscopy. (Jens H. Petersen)