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Hemiargus isola (images added)
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dmillard



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 501
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Hemiargus isola (images added) Reply with quote



Egg of Reakirt's Blue (Hemiargus isola), on a bud of the Pink Powderpuff (Mimosa strigillosa), approx. 2mm field. 120 images stacked in ZS.


Trivia: Tryon Reakirt, the 19th Century American entomologist for whom this butterfly was named, mysteriously disappeared in Brazil following bankruptcy in the U.S.



Another image (added May 9th) of a similar egg on some more mature buds. Field width here is approx. 3.1mm. A little more modeling, but still slightly mushy on the edge. I'll try to find a more circular egg tomorrow, and remove some of the obtrusive buds before taking photos.



A final image (for now) of another egg, taken at 20X, and cropped to 2/3, so that image field here is approx. 0.8mm.


Last edited by dmillard on Sun May 10, 2009 3:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely! These lycaenid eggs are beautifully sculptured, but they're so small and so deep that you really have to make stacked photos to appreciate them. Direct view through a microscope just doesn't do the job.

David, you might be interested in this Icaricia lupini egg in the old forum and this web page about the same subject. I can't recall if you've been with us long enough to have seen them.

--Rik
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dmillard



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
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Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rik,

I hadn't seen those images before - they're very nice! There is a large patch of the Mimosa growing in the meadow behind my house, so I should be able to get some shots of the larvae (and their ant protectors) soon.

David
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Aynia



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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, lovely photo. Very Happy
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It _is_ a lovely shot but I'm getting a mild optical illusion from it! Wink

I'm finding it difficult not to see this egg as a flattish 2d white disk on the front of the green bud - if I concentrate then I can see the sides of the egg but I'm still slightly unsure as to the 3d structure of what I'm seeing. I wonder if a little more shadow (a little less diffusion?) would help bring out the structure a bit more?

Is anyone else seeing this the same way as me?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lauriek wrote:
Is anyone else seeing this the same way as me?

Come to think of it, I am too, and that's even though I know the actual shape of this egg. (At least, I think I do!)

More modeling sounds like a good idea.

--Rik
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm assuming the centre of that pattern we can see - which is akin to the double Fibonacci spirals of the seeds in a sunflower - is the center top of the egg, and we're looking almost straight down on it?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I'm presuming. Take a look at the links to my pages -- they have images in motion and stereo, and I'm pretty sure the egg structure is similar.

--Rik
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NikonUser



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

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand what lauriek and Rik are saying (that's not a criticism of them).
A sunflower has many indepent seeds arranged in a spiral.
This is one egg (seed), the pattern is the shell or chorion (more like a chicken egg than a sunflower seed head).
The center at the top of the egg is the micropyle - it's where the sperm enters for fertilization.
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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.”
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The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what the structure is.

The problem is that my eyes persist in seeing it as something different.

When I first looked at the picture, my immediate impression was that I was looking at some thin decorated layer stuck on the outside of a rounded bud.

Then when I read that it's a lycaenid egg, I realized that I'm looking at the top of a fairly thick object, nestled in among buds.

But that realization is conscious thought, not visual perception. Based on knowing about similar eggs, I can figure out that the white thing is maybe quarter to half the thickness of each bud. But still the visual perception I get is that the white thing is more like a thin cap stuck on the front of the bud immediately behind it.

In some sense, it would be nice to get less DOF in this picture. If the background buds were going out of focus, then the thickness of the egg would be more apparent. But with such a wide aperture as this image must have been shot, truncating the stack often produces an edge-of-the-world effect that's a bit unpleasant. It might be a worth trying, though, just to see what happens.

--Rik
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dmillard



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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The criticism is valid, however this image was a trade-off - greater directional lighting gave more definition to the egg, but also produced disturbing shadows between the buds. I'm hoping to find an egg that rests on the surface, but the majority I have found are nestled even deeper than this one. I took a scanning electron micrograph (on Polaroid P/N 55) of a similar egg on an Acacia bud many years ago, and the modeling of the surface is far more distinct, and is indeed reminiscent of the sunflower Fibonacci spirals.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I hate that word "criticism" -- it sounds so negative! Think of these comments as observations by an interested observer, that if we're really lucky might hint at ways to improve even further on an already outstanding treatment. Wink Very Happy (That's not tongue in cheek, by the way. The image is very good, and I know how hard it is to deal with these things!)

When I shot the stereo pair of the Icaricia egg, I was struck by how vivid the surface sculpuring became. That egg was much more interesting in high res stacked stereo than I ever saw it through a microscope.

I wonder, is there more detail hiding in your original images, or are we seeing it all here? What lens was this shot with?

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
I don't understand what lauriek and Rik are saying (that's not a criticism of them).
A sunflower has many indepent seeds arranged in a spiral.
This is one egg (seed), the pattern is the shell or chorion (more like a chicken egg than a sunflower seed head).
The center at the top of the egg is the micropyle - it's where the sperm enters for fertilization.


Fibonacci patterns appear in many forms in nature, not just in arrangements of individual items such as seeds e.g see:

http://britton.disted.camosun.bc.ca/fibslide/jbfibslide.htm

A more 'meaty' article:

http://www.branta.connectfree.co.uk/fibonacci.htm

Or for our microscopist friends:

http://www.physorg.com/news97227410.html

Harold
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dmillard



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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New images added at top of post, May 9th and 10th.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



That last shot at 20X is beautiful!

--Rik
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