Journal of Insect Science 4 (17), 1-5, (1 May 2004) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.004.1701
KEYWORDS: venation, species identification, taxonomy, Dolichovespula
There is usually a pattern of veins on an insect wing. This pattern is species-specific and is used taxonomically. For example, the coordinates of some characteristic points on the wing are used to compare vein patterns. The characteristic points are often vein junctions or vein ends. A tool is presented that enables automatic identification of vein junctions. An image of an insect wing is used to determine the wing outline and veins. The vein skeleton is obtained using a thinning algorithm. Bezier splines are fitted to both the wing outline and the vein skeleton. The splines are saved in an encapsulated postscript file. Another output file in text format contains the coordinates of vein junctions. Both the program and its source code are available under GNU General Public License at [ www.cyf-kr.edu.pl/~rotofils/drawwing.html]. The program presented in this paper automatically provides a numerical description of an insect wing. It converts an image of an insect wing to a list of coordinates of vein junctions, and a wing diagram that can be used as an illustration. Coordinates of the vein junctions extracted by the program from wing images were used successfully to discriminate between males of Dolichovespula sylvestris and Dolichovespula saxonica.