Zoomable images taken with Queensland Museum's new Visionary Digital system

Below are zoomable images taken with the Queensland Museum's new Visionary Digital BK Plus Lab system, funded by the Atlas of Living Australia.

Native cockroach, Megazosteria patula

King Stag Beetle, Phalacrognathus muelleri

This male King Stag Beetle, Phalacrognathus muelleri, was taken with a Hasselblad H4D-50MS in combination with the Visionary Digital BK-plus Lab system, by Geoff Thompson. It was processed from 10 source images with Zerene Stacker and edited with Photoshop.

Phalacrognathus muelleri is found in the rainforests of North Queensland and is widely regarded as Australia's most magnificent beetle.

Christmas Beetle, Anoplognathus vietor

Holotype (definitive specimen) of Anoplognathus vietor, a Christmas Beetle from Windorah, named as a new species from this lone specimen in 1986 by Peter Allsopp and the late Philip Carne. This is still the only known specimen. Visionary Digital Image, Geoff Thompson.

Queensland Museum's new Visionary Digital BK Plus Lab system

Queensland Museum is now home to a one-of-a-kind digital imaging system developed specifically for the Museum by world pioneer in cybertaxonomy, Roy Larimer.

Used by the FBI and featuring technology often used by computer gamers, the Visionary Digital BK Plus Lab system produces magnified images of tiny insects and other specimens, giving the public and scientific community greater access to the many biological treasures the Museum holds and is constantly collecting.

The system can take and process images in less than two minutes – a task that currently takes about 30 minutes to produce with a smaller and optically poorer final result.

The photographs produced show more detail in one hit, from tiny hairs on delicate wings to little claws on feet, than a scientist sees focusing down a microscope.

For the first time, the Visionary Digital system will be used alongside the ‘Rolls Royce’ of cameras, the Hasselblad, to also take incredibly detailed images of whole drawers of material and larger specimens. These can be put up on the web using zoom technology to hone in on individual specimens or features like feather details.

The new technology enables Queensland Museum to better share images of specimens with other scientists throughout the world, helping the research community to better identify new species and also ensures that once an image has been taken, we do not have to further risk precious specimens again for new images.

The project has been made possible with the assistance of the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), a Federal Government project in partnership with museums and herbaria throughout Australia to improve access to biological data.

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.