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Leaf Rollling Weevil (update: another image added)
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morfa



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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:09 am    Post subject: Leaf Rollling Weevil (update: another image added) Reply with quote



Canon 5DmkII, JML 21/3.5, Olympus 65-116mm telescopic ET, Newport linear stage, Olympus macro stand, Speedlight 270EX + 2 LED:s (Ikea: Jansjö), 121 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker (PMAX)

Neocoenorrhinus aequatus

A 3-4mm long leaf rolling weevil. These tiny beetles use their specialized mouthparts to make precision incisions to leafs in such a way that they roll up and create a protected environment for the larvae of the beetle.

In the following link you'll find a nice study of this fascinating behavior in a different species of leaf rolling weevil: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/beetles/H_analis_P_ovatus.htm

I was intrigued by the interesting shape of the mandibles. To me they appear to have a "double action" design allowing them to cut while closing as well as opening (my speculation) which is something I don't recall seeing before. Below is a closer look at these, shot at 40X on sensor and somewhat cropped.


Canon 5DmkII, Nikon M Plan 40X 0.40 SLWD, Olympus 65-116mm telescopic ET, Newport linear stage, Olympus macro stand, Speedlight 270EX.

Synthetic cross eye stereogram:

Flash version here

A couple of shots of a living specimen:



The first one is a handheld field stack (5 exposures, Micro-nikkor 105/f4 + Raynox MSN-202), the second one was made indoors under a vertical stand (Leitz Milar 40/4.5). High resolution flash stereogram of the dorsal view: here.
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Last edited by morfa on Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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Rusty



Joined: 05 Jul 2010
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Location: Mosselbay South Africa

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic ! Lovely color and detail Shocked
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Daniel
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lauriek
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the detail shot of the end of the proboscis, that's something else for me to look out for!
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Tomatito



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John..this is just amazing.. Surprised how much is the working distance for that nikon 40x?
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Tomas Rak
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morfa



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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Daniel, Laurie and Tomas!

The WD of the 40X SLWD is 14.9mm according to the specs. (Nikon M Plan brochure on Charles' site: http://krebsmicro.com/mplan.pdf)

/John
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again such lovely work!

I don't know what to think of the mandibles. I agree that they look designed to work in both directions, but they also seem awfully blunt. I wonder if maybe they're used for crushing rather than cutting, and they have that double-action appearance just because they're blunt on the inside too?

--Rik
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Eric F



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Sacramento, Calif.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fabulous work John -- as usual (I think #1 is just stunning!).

I see you list two light sources. Are the Ikea LED's just for modeling or for fill-in on final images? I've noticed that the LED's in these lights have changed: early lamps (ca. $35 U.S.) had a cooler white than the current lamps (now $10 U.S.), which are more yellowish. I'm wondering if image #1 is a mixture of 'cooler' flash and 'warmer' LED?

Cheers,

Eric
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morfa



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rik and Eric!

Rik, you're right – they do look rather blunt. In this high res version of the dorsal stack of a living specimen the mandibles are closed: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4140/4743383525_f84b31ee6e_o.jpg

When the mandibles are closed those protrusions on the outside rim of the mandibles appear to point forward/downward/outward.

I can sort of imagine it pressing those protrusions against the leaf surface and tear the surface by opening the mandibles while applying force downward/forward. Intuitively, this seems easier than trying to pinch a hole on a flat surface? But again – just speculation!

Another view of the end of that snout:


Eric: I bought these at the low price so mine are probably of the warmer variety. They are certainly much warmer than the flash (at least 2000K warmer)!

I generally use them just as a focusing aid and modeling light but in this case (first image) I used them for image exposure as well by lowering the exposure time to 0.5s (the flash fired on the second curtain). The difference in color temperature was somewhat reduced by the plastic diffuser but was still very visible in the resulting images. Not ideal perhaps but from a creative perspective I enjoyed playing around with different constellations of the light sources and color temperatures! It reminded of using a golden reflector in the field to balance out the cold morning light.
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DQE



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 1653
Location: near Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most remarkable photos!

It continues to amaze me how much one's perspective of small animals changes as one moves into high magnification, especially with high-quality stacking. The extra detail provides a completely different view of the creature. While the same type of thing happens with ordinary macro photos, these unusually rich stacked photos move the art and science to a very different level.
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Eric F



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info John. I think the mixed lighting sources worked very well.
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jgknight



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing photos.
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A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up a thousand times the memory.
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've come back to this series for a second, third, and forth look. Superb!
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morfa



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your comments!

Here is another stack of the moutparts – a ventral view shot at 185mm extension with the Nikon 40/0.40 SLWD




Flash stereogram

68 + 15 frames stacked in Zerene stacker PMAX (the last 15 were stopped down considerably to reduce the number of frames)

Comparison with/without the additional 15 stopped down frames:

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Barry



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

Again astonishing output - your images are of extreme quality. So clean.
How long do you spend post-processing (not the stereograms but only making adjustments etc) an image if I may ask?

And ofcourse, very interesting morphology of these mouthparts. What a complex mechanism at this scale....nano technology!

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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barry wrote:
Again astonishing output - your images are of extreme quality. So clean.

Well said. My jaw drops every time I see one of these images, and I make happy chortling noises every time I fuse up one of the stereo pairs. Truly a treat!

--Rik

Edit: fix typo.


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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