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Mosquito Eye Pattern

 
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2560
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject: Mosquito Eye Pattern Reply with quote

I have never noticed this before.
At the top of the eye the facets are in horizontal rows.
At the bottom of the eye they are in vertical columns.
They meet at about the middle of the eye where the pattern can be interpreted as concentric radii centered on a point at the back of the eye.
Maybe this is the most economical way to pack together the hexagonal facets on a convex surface.

Rather worn female Culex pipiens in garage, probably hibernating (Nov 14 2009).

Nikon 10x CF N Achromat pushed to 15x on 23.6mm sensor; full frame, 26 frames @ 0.010mm; ZS PMax

NU09240
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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.

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paulheijmink



Joined: 29 Aug 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wonderful details and interesting pattern.

Paul
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LordV



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Posts: 1568
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent details !
brian V.
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morfa



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 556
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this is fantastic NU! The eyes are amazing but what I enjoy at least as much is the variety of bristles of different shapes and configurations.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19966
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject: Re: Mosquito Eye Pattern Reply with quote

Very nice picture!

I believe the appearance of rows and columns here is mostly an illusion caused by viewing a hexagonal array from an oblique angle. If you study closely the areas that seem to be rows and columns, you can see that there is 1/2 facet offset between adjacent lines, so that each facet is surrounded by six neighbors, not four. Changing the viewpoint to look perpendicularly down on those areas would show them to be hexagonal also.

You're right that there's a packing problem -- a convex surface cannot be covered with a perfectly regular hexagonal pattern of fixed size facets. I recall seeing some pictures a year or two ago of some other critter that clearly had an almost rectangular layout (rows and columns) even in a perpendicular view. But I don't think that's what we seeing in the current specimen.

--Rik
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tpe



Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 478
Location: Copenhagen Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice indeed, very impressive and inspiring.

Tim
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PaulFurman



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 595
Location: SF, CA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's surprising to me is what look like butterfly scales on it!
Really captivating image.
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2560
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

All these scales are modified hairs but I have been unable to find any info on the various types or their functions. I would have thought that some entomology-type would have 'classified' the types of scales.
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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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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Re: Mosquito Eye Pattern Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
I have never noticed this before.
At the top of the eye the facets are in horizontal rows.
At the bottom of the eye they are in vertical columns.
They meet at about the middle of the eye where the pattern can be interpreted as concentric radii centered on a point at the back of the eye.
Maybe this is the most economical way to pack together the hexagonal facets on a convex surface.

I find that I can see all of them in rows or columns by consciously choosing, the switch being instantaneous. Confused

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
All these scales are modified hairs

The word "these" caught my attention. Are butterfly scales not modified hairs? If they are not, what is the difference?

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
NikonUser wrote:
All these scales are modified hairs

The word "these" caught my attention. Are butterfly scales not modified hairs? If they are not, what is the difference?

Scales are modified hairs in the Collembola, and probably wherever they occur in insects, in that there is nothing else to be so-modified.

Harold
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