Van De Kamp T., Dos Santos Rolo T., Vagovic P., Baumbach T., Riedel A.

in PLoS ONE, 9 (2014), e102355. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102355


Digital surface mesh models based on segmented datasets have become an integral part of studies on animal anatomy and functional morphology; usually, they are published as static images, movies or as interactive PDF files. We demonstrate the use of animated 3D models embedded in PDF documents, which combine the advantages of both movie and interactivity, based on the example of preserved Trigonopterus weevils. The method is particularly suitable to simulate joints with largely deterministic movements due to precise form closure. We illustrate the function of an individual screw-and-nut type hip joint and proceed to the complex movements of the entire insect attaining a defence position. This posture is achieved by a specific cascade of movements: Head and legs interlock mutually and with specific features of thorax and the first abdominal ventrite, presumably to increase the mechanical stability of the beetle and to maintain the defence position with minimal muscle activity. The deterministic interaction of accurately fitting body parts follows a defined sequence, which resembles a piece of engineering. © 2014 van de Kamp et al.

Rolo T.D.S., Ershov A., Van De Kamp T., Baumbach T.

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (2014) 3921-3926. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1308650111


Scientific cinematography using ultrafast optical imaging is a common tool to study motion. In opaque organisms or structures, X-ray radiography captures sequences of 2D projections to visualize morphological dynamics, but for many applications full fourdimensional (4D) spatiotemporal information is highly desirable. We introduce in vivo X-ray cine-tomography as a 4D imaging technique developed to study real-time dynamics in small living organisms with micrometer spatial resolution and subsecond time resolution. The method enables insights into the physiology of small animals by tracking the 4D morphological dynamics of minute anatomical features as demonstrated in this work by the analysis of fast-moving screw-and-nut-type weevil hip joints. The presented method can be applied to a broad range of biological specimens and biotechnological processes.

Butcher B.A., Zaldivar-Riveron A., Van De Kamp T., Rolo T.D.S., Baumbach T., Quicke D.L.J.

in Zootaxa, 3860 (2014) 449-463. DOI:10.11646/zootaxa.3860.5.4


Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Two new species of the parasitic wasp genus Mesocentrus Szépligeti (Betylobraconinae) are described. One based on a new species from Papua New Guinea, the other the first Palaearctic member of the subfamily based on a 30+ mya, species from Baltic amber. The second species is illustrated using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Whereas the extant Betylobraconinae are restricted to Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia, their ancestral distribution is now known to have extended considerably further. A key to the four species of Mesocentrus known from Papua New Guinea is provided. Both species possess some putatively plesiomorphic characters absent in other extant Mesocentrus spp. The new extant species differs in having a considerably larger number of antennal segments and a less laterally depressed frons, while the extinct one has the clypeus separated from the face dorsally and strongly developed hypoclypeal depression. Availability of sequence data for this species enabled further analysis of the relationships of the subfamily, which we present in a phylogenetic analysis additionally including the release of a number of new sequences of related taxa.

Van De Kamp T., Hennemann F.H.

in Zootaxa, 3869 (2014) 397-408. DOI:10.11646/zootaxa.3869.4.4


Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.The female and egg of the new Papuan leaf insect Phyllium (Phyllium) riedeli n. sp. are described and illustrated. The species belongs in the siccifolium species-group of the subgenus Phyllium and, with a body length of 56.3 mm, represents the smallest leaf insect so far described for the genus. The type-specimens are stored in the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe, Germany (SMNK). A checklist and key is provided for the New Guinean representatives of Phyllium (Phyllium) Illiger, 1798.

Vrsansky P., Van De Kamp T., Azar D., Prokin A., Vidlicka L., Vagovic P.

in PLoS ONE, 8 (2013), e80560. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0080560


Dinosaurs undoubtedly produced huge quantities of excrements. But who cleaned up after them? Dung beetles and flies with rapid development were rare during most of the Mesozoic. Candidates for these duties are extinct cockroaches (Blattulidae), whose temporal range is associated with herbivorous dinosaurs. An opportunity to test this hypothesis arises from coprolites to some extent extruded from an immature cockroach preserved in the amber of Lebanon, studied using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. 1.06% of their volume is filled by particles of wood with smooth edges, in which size distribution directly supports their external pre-digestion. Because fungal pre-processing can be excluded based on the presence of large particles (combined with small total amount of wood) and absence of damages on wood, the likely source of wood are herbivore feces. Smaller particles were broken down biochemically in the cockroach hind gut, which indicates that the recent lignin-decomposing termite and cockroach endosymbionts might have been transferred to the cockroach gut upon feeding on dinosaur feces. © 2013 Vršanský et al.

Heethoff M., Bergmann P., Laumann M., Norton R.A.

in Acarologia, 53 (2013) 353-368. DOI:10.1051/acarologia/20132108


With about 10,000 described species and densities reaching 400,000 ind/m2, the Oribatida (without Astigmata) represent the most prevalent group of soil mites. However, with the exception of their taxonomy, many aspects of the biology of oribatid mites have been poorly studied. This might be explained in part by the previous lack of a model species. However, in the last 20 years, more and more non-taxonomic studies regarding development, genetics, morphology, chemical ecology and ecotoxicology have become available, with a significant number focused on the trhypochthoniid oribatid mite Archegozetes longisetosus. A well-defined laboratory strain of this pantropical parthenogenetic species was established in 1993 by one of us (RAN), and has since spread through numerous laboratories worldwide. In this review, we summarize the scientific achievements this lineage has enabled while becoming a model system for general zoology, ecology and evolution. © Heethoff M. et al.

Douissard P.-A., Cecilia A., Rochet X., Chapel X., Martin T., Van De Kamp T., Helfen L., Baumbach T., Luquot L., Xiao X., Meinhardt J., Rack A.

in Journal of Instrumentation, 7 (2012), P09016. DOI:10.1088/1748-0221/7/09/P09016


Indirect X-ray detectors are of outstanding importance for high resolution imaging, especially at synchrotron light sources: while consisting mostly of components which are widely commercially available, they allow for a broad range of applications in terms of the X-ray energy employed, radiation dose to the detector, data acquisition rate and spatial resolving power. Frequently, an indirect detector consists of a thin-film single crystal scintillator and a high-resolution visible light microscope as well as a camera. In this article, a novel modular-based indirect design is introduced, which offers several advantages: it can be adapted for different cameras, i.e. different sensor sizes, and can be trimmed to work either with (quasi-)monochromatic illumination and the correspondingly lower absorbed dose or with intense white beam irradiation. In addition, it allows for a motorized quick exchange between different magnifications / spatial resolutions. Developed within the European project SCINTAX, it is now commercially available. The characteristics of the detector in its different configurations (i.e. for low dose or for high dose irradiation) as measured within the SCINTAX project will be outlined. Together with selected applications from materials research, non-destructive evaluation and life sciences they underline the potential of this design to make high resolution X-ray imaging widely available. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl.

Riedel A., Dos Santos Rolo T., Cecilia A., Van De Kamp T.

in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 165 (2012) 773-794. DOI:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2012.00825.x


Two genera of extinct weevils, Sayrevilleus Gratshev & Zherikhin from Cretaceous New Jersey amber and Baltocar Kuschel from Eocene Baltic amber, are recognized as close relatives based on similarities revealed by the use of synchrotron tomography and the availability of new amber inclusions. The subfamily Sayrevilleinae Legalov stat. nov. is characterized by possessing mandibles with an external cutting edge and an inner blunt edge. The subfamily is placed in the family Attelabidae (s.l.), although some characters also suggest a possible relationship with the ‘higher weevils’ comprising Caridae, Brentidae, and Curculionidae. Sayrevilleus is transferred from the tribe Auletini of Rhynchitinae to Sayrevilleinae, and Sayrevilleus grimaldii Gratshev & Zherikhin is redescribed. Baltocar Kuschel is transferred from Caridae to Sayrevilleinae and revised, its type species, Baltocar succinicus (Voss), is redescribed and three new species, Baltocar groehni Riedel sp. nov., Baltocar hoffeinsorum Riedel sp. nov., and Baltocar subnudus Riedel sp. nov. are described based on eight well-preserved inclusions. The genera Orapauletes Legalov and Zherichiniletes Legalov previously assigned to Sayrevilleini are regarded as Curculionoidea incertae sedis. The Sayrevilleinae were distributed over areas of North America and Europe at least since the Late Cretaceous (c.90Mya) and were probably relatively diverse until the Eocene (c.44Mya). It is speculated that they became extinct through competition with Curculionidae, which used a similar oviposition strategy. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 165, 773-794. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

Cecilia A., Rack A., Douissard P.-A., Martin T., Dos Santos Rolo T., Vagovic P., Hamann E., Van De Kamp T., Riedel A., Fiederle M., Baumbach T.

in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 648 (2011). DOI:10.1016/j.nima.2010.10.150


Within the project ScinTAX of the 6th framework program (FP6) of the European Commission (SCINTAX – STRP 033 427) we have developed a new thin single crystal scintillator for high-resolution X-ray imaging. The scintillator is based on a Tb-doped Lu2SiO5 (LSO) film epitaxially grown on an adapted substrate. The high density, effective atomic number and light yield of the scintillating LSO significantly improves the efficiency of the X-ray imaging detectors currently used in synchrotron micro-imaging applications. In this work we present the characterization of the scintillating LSO films in terms of their spatial resolution performance and we provide two examples of high spatial and high temporal resolution applications. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Van De Kamp T., Vagovic P., Baumbach T., Riedel A.

in Science, 333 (2011). DOI:10.1126/science.1204245


The coxa-trochanteral joints on the legs of the weevil Trigonopterus oblongus (Pascoe) work as a biological screw-and-nut system. The apical portions of the coxae closely resemble nuts with well-defined inner threads covering 345°. The corresponding trochanters have perfectly compatible external spiral threads of 410°.