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Something different, moth genitalia preparation

 
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2577
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Something different, moth genitalia preparation Reply with quote


Microscope slide preparation of moth genitalia (Melanchra adjuncta male).
Aedeagus (=penis) moved from center of genitalia; extreme width of main portion 6.4mm.
Slightly cropped on sides to remove blank spaces.

D2Xs + 10.5cm bellows extension + MF 105mm Micro Nikkor at full extension + 4T close-up lens; ISO 100, 1/250s @ f8 on lens, single SB800 flash, styrofoam cup and white translucent plastic sheet as diffusers; stack of 29 images @0.05mm, Helicon Focus 4.1.

EDIT: title changed


Last edited by NikonUser on Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Planapo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1533
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent picture!
Photos as such are great for tricky insect IDs.

Welcome, and I´m looking forward to seeing more of your interesting work!

--Betty
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lauriek
Site Admin


Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2404
Location: South East UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting stuff!

I'm certainly no expert but isn't the general shape reminiscent of a human pelvis?

The stack certainly came out well.. Hope you post a shot of your stacking rig over in the equipment forum at some point! Smile
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 20279
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb use of stacking technology.

If I recall correctly, illustrations like this used to be drawn by hand, in large part because the subjects are thick enough that they couldn't be photographed sharply.

It seems that problem is now a part of the past.

--Rik
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2577
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks everyone.
Betty:
I continue to be amazed at the incredible number of variations seen in moth genitalia; the basic plan is relatively simple.

lauriek:
Actually, male moth genitalia are in the shape of a cylinder; it's standard practice to unroll and flatten them as much as possible. The aedeagus is in the centre of the cylinder so it is removed otherwise it blocks detail .
My stacking rig is nothing original, just used all the great advice available on this site. Styrofoam cups make good and cheap flash diffusers. So far have not be able to find ping-pong balls so use a chicken egg as a substitute (white, and empty of course!).

Rik:
Drawing was standard but difficult to show accurately the subtleties between some species. However, some authors still hand draw, e.g., the May 2008 Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. Moth genitalia almost seemed to be designed for the advent of stacking technology - or was it the other way around?
The other great use for the technology is showing the distribution of setae on the thorax of flies -very useful for species identification. Imaging trying to convey this by a drawing.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 20279
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
However, some authors still hand draw, e.g., the May 2008 Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society.

Very true. I remember that issue. Quoting from a brief exchange on the Yahoo Microscope group:

rjlittlefield wrote:
Selwyn wrote:
I'm not familiar with modern educational practice in biology. Is drawing still encouraged? Do researchers still sketch or are they dominated by the, supposedly, objective camera? Do modern journals still accept sketches?

I was reminded of this question when I opened the May 2008 issue of Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. It contains four articles that illustrate biological specimens. All four articles use photos of some sort, but three of the four also include sketches.

One article is very rich in techniques. Its illustrations include line drawings, stippled drawings, color macro photos, B/W macro photos, color optical micrographs, and scanning electron micrographs!


There are lots of reasons why sketches are sometimes preferred. It's just nice that now depth-of-field usually doesn't have to be one of them.

--Rik
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