The proboscis of the Drone Fly,Eristalis tenax

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Cactusdave
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Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

The proboscis of the Drone Fly,Eristalis tenax

Post by Cactusdave »

Continuing the theme of insect tongues, I thought I would show a ‘micropanorama’ of another insect tongue, or proboscis. This image series is of the mouthparts of the European drone fly, a species of hoverfly, Eristalis tenax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eristalis_tenax In this image I did not initially follow Graham Matthews’ heroic example with the bee tongue http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=14165 in which he stacked at each point in his panorama before stitching the whole image together or indeed my image of the butterfly tongue http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=14148 which was also stacked before stitching to give an added sense of depth. I also kept magnification to a modest X25 (X10 Plan DIC plus X2.5 in microscope magnification factor) which reduces the need for stacking.
The slide I used is an example of the work of Charles M. Topping (1800-1874) a noted Victorian slide mounter who produced slides for sale in the period after 1840 and who specialised in mounting insect ‘tongues’. I used 99 overlapping individual images stitched together with the software Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE). The microscope used was a Nikon Diaphot with LWD phase/DIC condenser with DIC prisms for X10 and X40 LWD DIC objectives. The X10 Plan DIC objective was used to collect the individual images for the panorama. The camera used was a Canon EOS 40D.
I don’t fully understand the structure of the tongue, and can’t find any references that describe in detail how it works. The two lobes at the right hand end are sponges for mopping up nectar and are similar to those seen in the tongue of the blowfly. However the drone fly also feeds on pollen, and I don’t know what the function is of the ‘tin-opener’ like structure seen underneath the lobes. Perhaps one of our insect experts could enlighten me.

Image

A larger 55 Megapixel version which can be zoomed into is at http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=ddb ... 0102e06828

Following Graham’s posting on the bee mouthparts, I thought I would try to produce a ‘stack and stitch’ micropanorama of this proboscis with a X25 objective. I soon regretted my temerity. After covering just one lobe with 32 stacks each 10 images deep, I decided to give my sanity and the camera shutter a break :lol:. This is as far as I got.

Image

A large 34 Mpixel version of this can be found here http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=119 ... 7d9d459266

I also made a small stack and stitch ( 4X8 images) of the part of the proboscis I call the 'tin-opener' as I find it rather fascinating and would really like to know what it's function is.

Image

A larger version of this part of the proboscis is here. http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8e7 ... 35620a41e1

The X25 objective used was a Zeiss NA 0.65 Planapochromat, which functions surprisingly well with the Nikon X40 DIC prism.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

Simon W
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Post by Simon W »

That second hard stacknstitch was well worth the effort, love it
Simon W
EOS 5D Mk 3; Olympus BH-2; Zerene Stacker
Melbourne, Australia

Cactusdave
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Thanks Simon. There is a lot of work involved in 'stack and stitch' composites, but they can be very rewarding if all goes well.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

Starshade
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 1:47 am

Post by Starshade »

Nice effort!

By the way, if you want to save your shutter, may be you could use mirrorless cameras with dSLR sensors for purposes like that.

I also do lots of stack-n-stitch that's why I bought Sony NEX5, not comfortable in terms of reaching basic settings but normally you set them up only once per photo session.

And lastly, do you happen to know a web service where I could upload very large microscope panoramas (like square 15k pix) without using silverlight?

RogelioMoreno
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Location: Panama

Post by RogelioMoreno »

Very nice!.

Rogelio

Cactusdave
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Thanks Starshade and Rogelio. I have thought of using my Panasonic G1 on the microscope, and though I have the necessary adapter and remote release, I just haven't got round to trying it. I'm afraid I can't suggest an alternative to Photosynth for hosting panoramas. A Flash application like Zoomify which tiles images http://www.zoomify.com/ might help in making your panoramas more manageable to would be viewers.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

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