Advanced Techniques for Imaging Parasitic Hymenoptera (Insecta)

TitleAdvanced Techniques for Imaging Parasitic Hymenoptera (Insecta)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBuffington, M. L., Burks R. A., and McNeil L.
JournalAmerican Entomologist
KeywordsImaging, Technology
Digital imaging technology has revolutionized the practice of photographing insects for scientific study. This paper describes lighting techniques designed for imaging parasitic Hymenoptera in the superfamilies Chalcidoidea and Cynipoidea. Techniques described here are applicable to all small insects, as well as other invertebrates. The key to these techniques is the correct balance of light intensity and light dispersal. Once this balance is met, hymenopteran species as small as 0.75 mm can be readily imaged at a resolution suitable for publication. Surprisingly, a compound microscope can be used to image whole, unmounted insects in much the same way that a stereomicroscope is used.