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Ants

 
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2537
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Ants Reply with quote

Hoping to get images of live ants, ID'd to species, in habitat this year.
For many species close examination is needed to get an ID. This entails collecting a specimen. Fortunately there is a good book for species ID in northeast NA "A Field Guide to the Ants of New England", Ellison et al.

Three common genera in my area are:
Camponotus A & B, A= C. pennsylvanicus Eastern Carpenter Ant; B= C. herculeanus The Great Carpenter Ant
Formica C = F. aserva The Slaveless Ant
Myrmica sp. D a minefield for getting an accurate specific ID.

These 3 genera are readily separated when seen in lateral view:
Camponotus species have a smooth convex mesosoma;
Formica species are the 'broken-back ants';
Myrmica species have a 2-segmented pedicel (1 in the other genera) and 2 large propodeal spines.


_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19177
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent as always.

One question about the photography...

In places around the bottom two ants in the first panel, the background texture seems to form streamlines around the outline of the ant. The effect is particularly obvious around the middle of the rear tarsus of the third ant. The background there almost looks like iron filings sprinkled around a bar magnet. Similar appearance around the abdomen and front tarsi of the fourth ant.

I'm baffled about what could be causing this effect.

Any suggestions? Are these for example photographed in shallow liquid with a curved surface near the ants?

--Rik
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2537
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is weird.
The ants are resting on a very thin and flexible piece of frosted plastic.
The plastic is on a microscope slide to give rigidity for alignment under the lens.
The ants were washed and I see a drop of water on the hind leg.
The effect must be the weight of the ants on the plastic.
I don't have a single image but here is the unprocessed PMax.

_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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View user's profile Send private message
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19177
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha -- wet specimens on frosted plastic!

Given that info, I'm pretty sure that what we're seeing is the texture of the plastic, transformed by the lensing effect of menisci where liquid has wicked from the specimens down onto the plastic. There's no need to physically deform the sheet.

Thanks!

--Rik
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