Dr Pupedis’ Insect Dissection Theatre

I visited West Campus, Peabody’s off-site storage facility,  to visit Ray Pupedis, our entemology collections manager.  Ray is the one I am pestering for information about the insects I am sculpting.  I asked him to help me understand the thorax of the bedbug.  Every image I have found has these details obscured by the legs.  I know there are 6 legs that attach to the thorax, but the shape of the thorax is, to me, unknown .

So, Ray got out his dissecting tools, a pair of fine surgical forceps and tiny probes he made from fine pins called minutens glued into toothpicks!

The Pupedis dissecting theatre.

Ray was able to remove several of the legs completely so I could get a good view of the leg insertion points in the thorax.  Then, he tore the thorax away from the abdomen so I could see a cross section of the area that attaches to the abdomen.  Ray drew his own illustration (Unkown to most, he’s a very good scientific illustrator) to explain it to me.  I would then look under the microscope to see for myself.

Ray's sketch

I took home my notes and jumped right into my sculpting, making the meso/metanotum (the part of the thorax with the 2nd and 3rd pair of legs) much deeper than what I had originally sculpted.

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