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Chalcid wasp?

 
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject: Chalcid wasp? Reply with quote

I found this tiny wasp the other day, initially thought it was a fly but I thought it had some interesting colouration. Insect is around 2.5mm long.





The usual setup, Nikon 10x objective at full extension. 31 and 49 images respectively, stacked in ZS.

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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating textures & colors!

I'm having trouble figuring out how those antennae are arranged and where they insert on the head. I'm guessing their bases must be above those two lower ocelli? Seems like a strange arrangement, but that's all I can figure out from what I see here. It would be interesting to do some kind of a 3D rendering of this stack. Another thing that ZS doesn't do...yet...

--Rik
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NikonUser



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a strange face.
Rik: I doubt that those two lower 'whatever' are ocelli. The single central dorsal ocellus is obvious, I do not know of any insect where the lateral ocelli are anterior to this dorsal one as would be the case in this insect.
Those 'whatever' almost look as though they should be the base of the antennae.
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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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lauriek
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

having looked at the full size image I think NU is right, those things which look a bit like ocelli are the bases of the antennae. They go up from there to an 'elbow' joint at the top, near the single ocelli you can see, and then back down again.

I expect in nature these would be side by side but frozen they went one in front of the other. This specimen was too small for me to try to tease them into a better position. So small in fact that after these stacks a piece of dust or something in the atmosphere landed on the specimen, obliterating half of the face. When I tried to remove this I lost the specimen! I was annoyed as I'd just found another interesting angle to shoot it from.
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rovebeetle



Joined: 22 May 2008
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Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating. Once I have enough time again I will do some research on the possibilities of acquiring such a microscope objective setup. Most of the hassle will be to persuade my director to pay for it Very Happy

In addition, ZS looks very promising.

NikonUser wrote:
Those 'whatever' almost look as though they should be the base of the antennae.


That's right, the "lower ocelli" are in fact the antennal sockets. The first antennomere (scapus) is very long and reaches almost to the real ocellus.

Cheers
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Jbailey



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent photos, Laurie!

Jim
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Planapo



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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zerene has worked out the sculpturation on the head very well. What stacking method (PMax or DMap) did you use, Laurie?

Agree with the insertion of the scapi on the lower half of the head. One can see the ball joint with which the left scapus is attached there.

I don't know why the term "chalcid" wasp for wasps of the Chalcidoidea seems sometimes used (maybe erroneously). I think it's better to use the term chalcidoid wasp.
I only know of the taxa Chalcidoidea (as 'superfamily') and Chalcididae (as 'family' within the former). The term "chalcid" would imply a taxon "Chalcidae", which I've never heard of before.

--Betty
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the analysis of the anatomy, everyone.

When I awoke this morning, I had finally figured out about the crossed antennae, but who knows how much sleep time it took!?

Laurie, I'm really sorry to hear about the lost specimen. Can you get another? (Insert begging puppy emoticon here!)

--Rik
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words all of you! Smile

Rik, I will be doing my best to find another one, believe me! I'd just found a wonderful section of sculptured surface on the back of the thorax..

Betty, I generally use PMax and certainly did for these shots.
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Aynia



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laurie, you deserve all those kind words for your fab photos. Very Happy
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