REVSYS: SYSTEMATICS OF THE
SCORPION FAMILY VAEJOVIDAE
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Project Overview
Aims
Motivation
Intellectual Merit
Broader Impacts

Participating Institutions
AMNH
WTAMU
IBUNAM
CAS

Individual participants
Principal Investigators
Collaborators
Graduate Students
Undergraduate Students
High School Students
Technicians
Volunteers

Workplan
Fieldwork
Museum Collections
Databasing and Mapping
Taxonomy
Diagnoses, Descriptions, Keys
Terminology and Illustrations

DNA Sequencing
Phylogenetic Analysis
Publications/Authorship

Timelines and Goals
Research Goals/Products
Training Program
Project Management

 

Illustrations and Terminology

 Illustrations: All taxonomic descriptions, diagnostic keys and morphological characters used in phylogenetic analyses are being illustrated. Habitus illustrations (dorsal and ventral aspects of an adult ♂ and ♀ of each species) are taken using a portable MicropticsTM ML1000 digital photomicrography system (http://www.microptics-usa.com/) that can be used for live photography in the field and for preparing images of specimens during visits to museums. Illustrations of morphological characters, essential for understanding and interpreting descriptions, diagnostic and phylogenetic characters, are being produced with several techniques. Our trainees are taught traditional drawing techniques and digitization and editing thereof, e.g. using Adobe Illustrator (http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/). However, digital imaging techniques are encouraged for producing morphological illustrations. For example, traditional line drawings of pedipalp trichobothrial patterns and surface macrosculpture can be substituted with digital images rendered under long-wave UV light (exploiting the fluorescence property of the scorpion epicuticle) with the Microptics system, at a tremendous saving in time and effort. Multiple images, taken at different, overlapping spatial planes can be merged by superimposition using AutoMontageTM software (http://www.syncroscopy.com/), circumventing problems with reduced depth-of-field and providing completely focused images. Scanning electron micrographs of certain structures (e.g. macrosculpture, pectinal peg sensillae) will also be generated, using SEM facilities at AMNH and CAS.


UV digital photomicrography: A. Pandinus imperator, pedipalp chela;  B. Lisposoma elegans
carapace; C. Pseudolychas ochraceus, pectines; D. Parabuthus muelleri, metasoma and telson.

Terminology: All publications on Vaejovidae produced in the duration of the grant will be standardised, as far as possible, with respect to terminology, methods and presentation. At the first meeting of the project participants in March 2005, the PIs and collaborators agreed to a standard terminology for morphological characters and states and a standard set of criteria for recording standard measurement. This was achieved by compiling a list of the terms and measurements used by previous authors, identifying synonyms and differences, as well as possible sources of conflict, and selecting those considered most adequate (descriptive, exact, comparable across taxa, etc.) by mutual consent. Some of the terms and criteria agreed upon are discussed further in the section on vaejovid anatomy.

 

 


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