MicroCT imaging of insects

Holger Averdunk 1, Ajay Limaye 2, Andrew Kingston 1, Glenn Myers 1, Michael Turner 1, Ben Young 1, David Lovell 3, John La Salle *4

1 Dept. Applied Maths, RSPSE, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
2 VizLab, ANU Supercomputer Facility, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200
3 CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics, GPO Box 664, Canberra, ACT 2601
4 CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT, 2601 Australia

In order to gather, manage and disseminate biodiversity information in a meaningful time frame, there is an urgent need to develop and utilise new methodologies for capturing and digitising a wide range of information.  Critical among these are technologies for capturing and managing morphological information that might match some of the advances made in genomic technology. MicroCT imaging is examined as a potentially powerful tool in insect systematics and morphology, which could have utility in research, teaching and training, digital dissemination of biodiversity data, and ultimately in a variety of accelerated phenomics platforms.  Examples of high-resolution CT scans are presented.  Potential uses, advantages and drawbacks of this technology are discussed, along with the time, computing and storage implications of acquiring and rendering insects with MicroCT.  

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