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The Mimallonidae (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea) of the Caribbean B

15465-5006-1-PB (dragged) 2

 Acquired in the fall of 2015, the Macropod Imaging System gives the collection a new way to present its holdings to the public. The system acts like a microscope, but it has a camera instead of a magnification lens. The lens points down at the specimen. Photographs of three-dimensional specimens are taken using auto-stacking, a technique in which pictures are snapped at intervals as the lens inches closer to the specimen. Once completed, the computer stacks and combines them to create a detailed photograph with a greater depth of field.

One undergraduate who works in the CUIC will be graduating in May 2016 with five publications. He used the Macropod Imaging System to illustrate specimens in all of his papers. The imaging system is also used to take photographs of slide collections. This allows researchers around the world to view the CUIC and collaborate with the university.

– See more at: https://research.cornell.edu/content/cornell-university-insect-collection-cuic#sthash.T9mCebqU.dpuf

Jason Dombroskie, PhD | Cornell University

 

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Myllocerus undatus (Curculionidae)

Melittochlamys spicule lateral

Melittochlamys spicule lateral

Myllocerus undatus was the first sample to be imaged by Lourdes with the Macropod Pro system when it was fresh out of the box on delivery day.  This first example goes to show how efficient the Macropod really is at imaging small-sized specimens for researchers with a wide range of skill sets.

Images captured with the Macropod by: Lourdes Chamorro, PhD | Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 

 

Lexiphanes consimilis dorsal

Lexiphanes consimilis dorsal

Fulcidax bacca lateral

Fulcidax bacca lateral

Ischiopachis ccribripennis dorsal

Ischiopachis ccribripennis dorsal

Cylindrodachrys cleroides dorsal

Cylindrodachrys cleroides dorsal

 

 

 

 

 


 

“The Macropod is incredibly impressive. I just revised my quote from 2 stereomicroscopes with digital cameras to a single high powered, automated number for manipulating specimens before imaging and higher magnification. Paleontological research requires good images, particularly for smaller animals such as fish, which may have interesting structures ranging from the cm scale (bone, fins, overall form) to the micron scale (teeth, scale ornament). One major thing that’s really been missing from our toolkit is the ability to create HD image stacks for whole specimens and structures in museum collections. Stacking was mostly limited to lab-based microscope objectives unless one has extensive DSLR experience (which I do not). My research projects can require

dozens of specimens, so loans are not always feasible. The previous solution while at collections was to take overview photos with a DSLR on a copy stand and then close-ups with a macro lens and hope for the best. I have over 30,000 images from various museums, and many are unusable as details were lost due to errors in lighting or focus. The Macropod will streamline the process dramatically, as one stacked image can reveal even more than the naked eye and details that previous required close-up images. Macropod images of specimens from previous projects show features that were previously only apparent after extensive microscope work.  Plus, the procedure is entirely automated! The macropod will save us precious time on collections visits and in the lab while greatly increasing our imaging abilities.”
– Lauren Cole Sallan, PhD | University of Pennsylvania


 

Left photo (plain light) and right photo (color-inverted)Tarrasius problematicus was an eel-like fish that lived in shallow bodies of water in what is now Scotland, in the Carboniferous period between 359 million and 318 million years ago. Click here for full text.


 

picture 4 “We continuously use the Macropod to document biodiversity and to aid in accurate identification of species, many of which are externally similar. The Macropod enables us to show habitus images of the beetles to make rapid ID possible when words alone might not be able to do this, especially for someone unfamiliar with the sometimes specialized terminology used for different body parts . . . and the terminology can vary depending on the order of insects. The user community is not always comprised of taxonomists, so clarity is essential . . . and the images help to do that. Our beetles are usually pretty large, and so zooming down to individual hairs or punctures is not usually necessary for our purposes of identification.”
Brett Ratcliffe, PhD | University of Nebraska
Dr. Ratcliffe’s book, The Dynastine Scarab Beetles of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize offers over 600
pages of images captured with the Macropod.

 

“Spirematospermum seeds are some of the oldest fossils for the ginger and banana order (Zingiberales), dating back to the Cretaceous of North America and Europe. They are also somewhat common in Eurasia during the Cenozoic (ca. 66 to 2.5 Ma) – forming up to 16% of seed floras in the Neogene (23-2.5 million years ago)

  • But, where do these seeds fit into the Zingiberales family tree? – there are arguments about whether they are most closely related to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), or the banana family (Musaceae). Understanding this is important for being able to reconstruct their evolutionary history – when and where did the different families originate and diversify, and
    what might have driven this process?

picture 5The Macropod has been incredible in helping to photograph th ese usually small, very three-dimensional seeds. We have been able to categorize the texture of the external seed surface much more accurately, and have seen features such as hairs that were not obvious before having this high-resolution macrophotography. This will be a great help for us in figuring out where these seeds belong (so far the data support them being most closely related to the true gingers, not the bananas!).”

Selena Smith, PhD | University of Michigan

Riedelia sp. (Zingiberaceae) seed. This photograph was taken using Macroscopic Solutions Macropod, and is part of a larger project on evolution of Zingib erales, supported by the National Science Foundation and University of Michigan. sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/evolution-of-gingers/ Photo credit: John Benedict, Selena Smith’s lab at University of Michigan.


 

 “We are happily using the Macropod to study the development of periodical cicada nymphs to understand the factors influencing the transitions among instars and the evolution of the 13- and 17-year life cycles.  We seek to understand why developmental rates are so different among individual nymphs while the adult emergence is so precisely timed.  Having the detailed photos of all five instars helps in identification.  It is especially important to be able to see the morphology of the tiny first instar nymphs (less than 2mm in length).”
Chris Simon, PhD | University of Connecticut
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Picture 6: Photograph of actual relative sizes of periodical cicada nymphs. Explore image here.

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