Video Capture and Editing as a Tool for the Storage, Distribution, and Illustration of Morphological Characters of Nematodes


  • Paul De Ley
  • Wim Bert


computer applications, database, image editing, methods, microscopy, morphology, type collections, video, world wide web


Morphological identification and detailed observation of nematodes usually requires permanent slides, but these are never truly permanent and often prevent the same specimens to be used for other purposes. To efficiently record the morphology of nematodes in a format that allows easy archiving, editing, and distribution, we have assembled two micrographic video capture and editing (VCE) configurations. These assemblies allow production of short video clips that mimic multifocal observation of nematode specimens through a light microscope. Images so obtained can be used for training, management, and online access of "virtual voucher specimens" in taxonomic collections, routine screening of fixed or unfixed specimens, recording of ephemeral staining patterns, or recording of freshly dissected internal organs prior to their decomposition. We provide an overview of the components and operation of both of our systems and evaluate their efficiency and image quality. We conclude that VCE is a highly versatile approach that is likely to become widely used in nematology research and teaching.