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Pin up models

Otago Museum has recently purchased equipment to take high resolution sharp photos of our entomology collection and Kane Fleury, Collection Officer, Natural Science, is currently working on developing a system for imaging the small specimens.


Apis mellifera Honey bee


Apis mellifera – Honey bee


As you can imagine, pinned insect collections are fragile and are not typically appreciated for their beauty, except by those who study these small creatures. By photographing these collections we can share how good-looking they really are with a wider audience.


Cicindela tuberculata Common tiger beetle


Cicindela tuberculata – Common tiger beetle



Producing these high resolution images is not the easiest job due to the small depth of field typical in macro photography. To make these images I take lots of pictures with thin slices of the insect in focus. I then combine all these images in a post processing technique called focus stacking. The images featured here are all composites of between 20 and 70 images.


Megadromus sp. ground beetle 2


Megadromus sp. – Ground beetle


The plan is to image the Otago Museum’s pinned type specimen collection, an important part of the Museum’s wider entomology collection.



Megadromus sp. Ground beetle

Megadromus sp. – Ground beetle



FYI – a type specimen is the specimen upon which the scientific name and physical description is firmly defined. It is then the benchmark from which any reviews or taxonomic changes are made.


Scaptia adrel Bush gad fly

Scaptia adrel – Bush gad fly