[Taxacom] Scientific illustration

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at mobot.org
Wed Jul 22 16:55:35 CDT 2009

Rather a nice story via van Steenis about the botanical illustrators  
at Leiden - to the effect that when they had made their drawings,  
sometimes the taxonomist would realise that the new species was no  
good...  And I remember when I saw the illustration of one of the  
first species I described, there were a pair of carefully drawn and  
quite large teeth at the bottom of the lamina, a lamina that I had  
described as "entire". Of course, the genus was supposed to have an  
entire lamina...

On Jul 22, 2009, at 6:36 AM, Bob Mesibov wrote:

> Mary Barkworth wrote:
> "I have found, as I am sure others have, that the illustrator needs  
> to understand the structures being drawn."
> Agreed. If you asked me which of the steps in my last post I would  
> hand over to an illustrator, the answer is 'All but the first - the  
> preliminary drawings'. I know what I want to show and I know how to  
> show it, and I'd have to train up an illustrator in millipede  
> taxonomy to get the same result.
> Line drawings of millipede genitalia are not only the most useful  
> parts of a species description, they're often the *only* parts that  
> other specialists look at. They need to show the diagnostic  
> features in just the right way.
> -- 
> Dr Robert Mesibov
> Honorary Research Associate
> Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
> School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
> Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
> (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
> Website: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html
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