Some more stacking … 1

Some more stacking ...
Here are a few Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. stacks. The technique involves taking about 30 photos, each at a different focal point in the specimen and using a macro-rail to slowly move the camera backwards or forwards. The focused parts of each photo are then combined using software called Zerene Stacker (Pmax setting) to make the ...

My first stacks 7

My first stacks
Yesterday Malcolm Storey (bioimages.org.uk) brought over some new equipment he had just bought for photo-stacking, along with a ‘kit’ including a spare dSLR (3MP Nikon D100) and macro lenses. The real star of the equipment is Malcolm’s new StackShot – an automated system for racking a camera through pre-defined focus points and taking the photos ...

Pelecotheca s.g. Cryptocladocera (male) (Surinam)

Pelecotheca s.g. Cryptocladocera (male) (Surinam)
The Surinamese batch of flies from Menno yielded quite a lot of male Cryptocladocera – here are just 2.

Stacking #2 2

Stacking #2
Here is Dave’s latest version of the Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) male – looking even better. To see Dave’s other photos click here.

Stacking / compositing photographs 3

Stacking / compositing photographs
Recently a local photographer called Dave Dare got in touch with me to ask if I could lend him some specimens so that he could practice macro photo stacking/compositing. This seemed a great opportunity for me to help someone out and also have some of my favourite specimens photographed with very deep focus. Dave has ...

Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. male (pe-taxon #25)

Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. male (pe-taxon #25)
This is the only Cryptocladocera in the peruvian sample and it looks very like the ones from French Guiana – fg-taxon #04.

Multifissicorn tachinid faces (Pelecotheca s.g. Cerotachina & Cryptocladocera)

Multifissicorn tachinid faces (Pelecotheca s.g. Cerotachina & Cryptocladocera)
This is a little post just to show the range of antennal branching in different multifissicorn tachinids – apologies for the poor quality of the photos. As you can see, Cryptocladocera spp. have huge branches on their antennae while both of the 2 new species have much shorter antennal branches, which seems closer to the ...

Pelecotheca flavipes Thompson (Neominthoini, pe-taxon #16)

Pelecotheca flavipes Thompson (Neominthoini, pe-taxon #16)
After keying this taxon through MCAD it looks like one of the Neominthoini (it emerges on Neomintho, where most Neominthoini will end up) and the strong bristles on the facial ridges and the very elongate antennae are reminiscent of the females of the Pelecotheca group of species. All of the specimens in this species group are ...

Pelecotheca (Cerotachina) sp. male (pe-taxon #14)

Pelecotheca (Cerotachina) sp. male (pe-taxon #14)
This appears to be another new, hitherto undescribed, species closely related to Cerotachina – it has no median discals and antenna-3 is very shallowly multifissicorn. That is, the third antennal segment has bumps on both sides covered with tufts of long hairs. These bumps are shorter than the branches on my French Guianan Cerotachina and ...

Pelecotheca (prob. Cryptocladocera) sp. female (fg-taxon #90)

Pelecotheca (prob. Cryptocladocera) sp. female (fg-taxon #90)
This one is unusual because the abdomen is tipped with a strange, shiny, flattened structure that resembles a squashed tube. EDIT (Monty Wood 26/9/2010): This is an example of a female Pelecotheca (probably the female of the large multi-fissicorn featherfaces so sub-genus Cryptocladocera). The flattened shiny structure is distinctive of this group of sub-genera.

Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. male (fg-taxon #4) 3

Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. male (fg-taxon #4)
This is one of my favourite French Guianan tachinids! At first glance it looks fairly standard but when you examine the face you will see that antennal segment 3 (normally rectangular) has been formed into a feather-like structure, similar in design to moth antennae! This structure is recessed in a deep concavity in the face ...