Posts Tagged ‘imaging’

A few years ago I needed to image some ants for a short taxonomic paper.  Lacking a decent specimen imaging system (like Entovision), I decided to snap the photos at home using my standard macro gear: a dSLR with the Canon MP-E lens.  The images turned out fine and were published in Zootaxa with the paper.

Later, the Antweb team imaged the same species using their standard set-up: a high-res video camera on a Leica microscope, focus-stacking the images with specialized software.  I decided to compare the two.  Here they are (click on each to view the uncompressed file): (more…)

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Look! Pretty!

Cicindela has been playing with scanners and saturniid moths, to great result:

The original file must be huge!   Worth noting that Cicindela is taking a lead from Joseph Scheer, who first perfected the technique.

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Heterospilus sp., head & compound eye, Costa Rica

Here are some shots from my training session this morning at the Beckman Institute‘s Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  I haven’t used SEM for years- wow!  Great fun.  Click on each image to enlarge.


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In 1979, Rick Harris wrote a definitive paper illustrating the various terms used by taxonomists to describe the intricate patterns on the insect exoskeleton. His guide is tremendously helpful to those of us who struggle to decide if those ridges on the head of an ant are strigate or costate.  Via Sifolinia, I now see that Harris’s illustrations are available online:

A Glossary of Surface Sculpturing

Incidentally, Rick was the guy who taught me how to use a Scanning Electron Microscope, although at this point it’d be a minor miracle if I remembered any of it.

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