Solitary bee, specialized leg hairs

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Charles Krebs
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Solitary bee, specialized leg hairs

Post by Charles Krebs »

I believe this is a solitary Megachilid bee. It carried its collected pollen primarily on its abdomen, but also collected a great amount with its legs. The hairs on the legs appear to have a surface texture that makes them particularly well suited for holding onto the pollen.

The small first image of the rear leg is to give a perspective to the area imaged below it (indicated by red box).

The photograph of the leg hairs was recorded at 50X (on sensor). It is from a 22 image stack.

Image


Olympus BHA, 20/0.46 M SPlan, BH2-UMA vertical illuminator, 2.5X NFK photo-eyepiece. The lighting was cross-polarized brightfield. Canon 50D.
Image

More overall shots of the head and abdomen of this bee are posted here:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?p=64598

ABEL
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Post by ABEL »

Hello

Nice photos ¡. Your photos of small insects are precious. To do them, do you work with an estereomicroscope or microscope?

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Gorgeous images, as always.
BH2-UMA vertical illuminator. The lighting was cross-polarized brightfield.
Let me see if I understand this correctly...

The vertical illuminator inserts between the eyepiece and the objective. It contains a beamsplitter that directs light coming from the side down through the objective, then allows a portion of the returning image to pass through to the eyepiece. "Brightfield" means that the illumination light went through the same optics in the objective that formed the image, and "cross-polarized" means that there were two polarizers, one on the illumination side of the beamsplitter and the other on the image side, with axes crossed to block reflections from lens surfaces.

Is this roughly correct? What have I missed?

--Rik

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Abel,
These were done with a "compound" microscope, not a stereo. I have two stereo microscopes but the numerical apertures are (typical of most stereo's) too low to get really sharp images much above about 6X magnification (on sensor). So (as with this image) I'm using a vertical illuminator (BH2-UMA) on an Olympus BHA stand with their M SPlan and Neo S Plan objectives. I also use camera bellows with an assortment of lenses and objectives for many shots (such as the head and abdomen pictures referenced above), but those get posted over in a different forum section.

Rik,
Is this roughly correct? What have I missed?
It's exactly correct, and you never miss much, if anything :wink: .

I'll refer back to the diagram in this post: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=10176
Without the polarizers (marked "A" and "B") I find the glare and reflection much too strong with epi-brightfield on most subjects. Epi-darkfield is far better in this regard, but then you've got the circular highlights to deal with if there are rounded reflective surfaces in the subject. The limited "fixed" lighting of the vertical illuminator sometimes makes it hard to get aesthetically pleasing light... sometimes it is fine, while with other subjects it just doesn't look all that great.

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