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Keywords:

  • confocal laser scanning microscopy;
  • dissection;
  • electron microscopy;
  • focus stacking of digital images;
  • geometric morphometrics;
  • histology;
  • micro computed tomography

Abstract

A brief account of the history of insect morphology is given. Different techniques and analytical methods used in current projects on insect morphology and phylogeny and their optimized combined application are described. These include fixation, dissection, maceration, histology (microtome sectioning), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM), focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), bleaching, micro-computed tomography (μCT), computer-based three-dimensional reconstruction, focus stacking of digital images, geometric morphometrics and the storage of morphological metadata. The role of insect morphology in the “age of phylogenomics” is discussed.