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Field Notes: A Tool for Making Digital Species Drawings


Cara J

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The identification of species with new digital illustration techniques could help taxonomists reluctant to go back to the drawing board, according to a new study. “Species illustration for me is one of the most important parts of taxonomic work,” said Giuseppe Montesanto, an informatics technician in the biology department at the University of Pisa in Italy. Montesanto is the lead author in a new paper published in ZooKeys that illustrates the method in several steps. Complete image from above. Image Credit: Giuseppe Montesanto Faced with funding problems for new research in his area of expertise in Italy —the taxonomy of species of terrestrial isopods, or so-called pillbugs or woodlice — Montesanto wanted to develop something that would help other researchers on a limited budget. “I cannot imagine my future without these animals,” he said of the isopods, “even if my wife is not so happy because my house is full of specimens.” While it may seem strange to turn to drawings of any kind in the age of digital photography, sometimes drawings can provide better detail, particularly when it comes to defining species aspects that a taxonomist is attempting to highlight. But Montesanto makes use of bitmap graphics in the [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/field-notes-a-tool-for-making-digital-species-drawings/

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