ARPHA Preprints, doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e124163
Low-cost, high-volume imaging for entomological digitization
expand article infoDirk Steinke, Jaclyn McKeown§, Allison Zyba§, Joschka McLeod§, Corey Feng§, Paul D.N. Hebert
‡ University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada§ Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, Guelph, Canada
Open Access

Large-scale digitization of natural history collections requires the automation of image acquisition and processing. Reflecting this fact, various approaches, some highly sophisticated, have been developed to support the imaging of museum specimens. However, most of these systems are complex and expensive, restricting their deployment.

Here we describe a simple, inexpensive technique for imaging arthropods larger than 5 mm. By mounting a digital SLR camera on a CNC (computer numerical control) motor-drive rig, we created a system that captures high-resolution z-axis stacked images (6960 x 4640 pixels) of 95 specimens in 30 minutes.

This system is inexpensive ($1000 USD without camera), easy to set up, and to maintain. By coupling low cost with high production capacity, it represents a solution for the digitization of any natural history collection.

Imaging, Insects, Arthropoda, DNA barcoding, Photography