The Australian National Insect Collection is the world’s largest collection of Australian insects and is managed by the CSIRO.
To find out more about the collection click here
CSIROs Science by email recently sent me this information about some of the work of the ANIC:
John was part of a team that recently created a way to make 3D models of insects in their natural colours using simple equipment. An insect is mounted on a printed mat, and the pin is glued to a magnet. The magnet holds the insect to a turntable, which can be rotated and tilted side to side. It is photographed at different angles, and the pictures are combined using software to create a detailed digital 3D model.
A 3D computer model is easier to share online and you can get an accurate picture of the whole specimen. “When you are trying to identify an insect, you want to be able to flip it around and look at it from different angles,” says John.
So far, the team has made 3D images of a handful of insect specimens to show the idea works. Now the question is how make 100 images, and then 1000. There’s plenty to digitise – with around 12 million specimens, the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra is the world’s largest collection of Aussie insects.
You can have a look at one of the 3D models here:
Science by Email
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(Don’t forget to check with an adult first 🙂 )