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Tenebroides  - Tenebroides laticollis - male

Tenebroides - Tenebroides laticollis - Male
Medford, (~25 miles east of Philadelphia, PA) Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
June 27, 2007
Size: ~8mm
if you zoom this image (editors), I believe you can just make out the two pits in the apical corners of the submentum - characteristic of the males of this genus (according to D&A anyway)

montage of 9 focus-bracket images

Images of this individual: tag all
Tenebroides  - Tenebroides laticollis - male Tenebroides  - Tenebroides laticollis - male Tenebroides  - Tenebroides laticollis - male

Moved from Tenebroides.


I like it.
Very nice images Tim. Your technique is shaping up nicely. Could use a tad more light to bring out the punctation, etc. Otherwise, looks great. Keep up the good work.

Is this automontage too?
Is this automontage too?

poor-man's automontage
no, this is by no means a automontage set-up. I'll try to post some images and descripion soon, but these are from a Canon A640 point-n-shoot with a 50mm SLR lens mounted in reverse, and a firmware hack (CHDK) in the Canon that automatically steps through a selectable number of focus settings centered around the original focus (focus bracketing). The set of images are then montaged with PC software, in my case Helicon focus.

I'm very pleased with the detail on the >5mm beetles (better than the MCZ's if I can brag a little!). But Jeff's right - they need more light. The reversed 50mm lens (and max telezoom on the Canon) gives about a 14mm field of view laterally, and the white background I am using (with auto shutter speed metering, fixed aperture) just overwhelms the exposure of small dark beetles, even these taken with +1.33 exposure compensation. The sub 5mm beetles I posted so far this year are taken with the same setup except using a reversed 28mm f2.8 lens, and I'm beginning to see that those are not nearly as sharp, especially around the edges. That lens only provides about a 5mm field of view, and that doesn't quite reach top to bottom on the Canon's sensor. Of course since the focus bracketing takes some seconds to shoot the series, this only works for very non-moving bugs (i.e. dead).
It's taken some time to work this up (for me, more than most I'm sure), but the results on slightly larger beetles with the 50mm give me some hope of posting some nice images this year :)

These images are absolutely fantastic! What I could suggest is that if you're already using an SLR lens, get a ring flash that you can set the flash intensity with. Disable the flash on the camera, there should be a no flash setting. Alas, the ring lights are quite expensive (450$) but the results, especially with your set-up will be worth it.

How did you get this to species though?
D&A doesn't have a key to the species level that I can see.

The Beetles of Northeastern North America
by D&A I meant Downie and Arnett's The Beetles of Northeastern North America(1), which has keys to "all the species" found in my region, including this genus on page 937? sorry for the confusion.

Didn't know they even had one like that! I don't suppose you could take a look at my Tenebroides photos and see if they match anything?

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