Insect Study Tools

X-ray computed tomography is widely used in the medical fields to provide internal images without invasive procedures. Miniaturization has led to Micro-CT that is being used increasingly to produce high quality internal images of insect internal anatomy. Techniques for staining and visualizing tissue are providing new insights to entomologists. Skyscan has posted on their website, a pdf, “Unraveling the biomechanics of stag beetle armature using micro-CT“* by a group of Belgium Scientists. They used micro-CT to visualize the muscles in the head of a stag beetle, Cyclommatus metallifer. The specimens were prepared using standard histological techniques. The resulting images show cuticle muscle, some nerves and ganglia and the inner structure of the compound eye. The images allow measurement of the morphological features and calculation of biomechanics properties.

Micro-CT Scan

Micro-CT Scan of Stag Beetle Head and Muscles
Image: Goyens and colleagues

*J. Goyens, J. Soons, P. Aerts, M. Dierick & J. Dirckx. Unraveling the biomechanics of stag beetle armature using micro-CT.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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