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Dusting

Definition

A characteristic of the surface of the chitinous plates making up the body of a fly. “Dust” is actually formed by minute, flattened hairs rather like the scales of Lepidoptera. These give the appearance of patches of dust on the (often shiny) surface of the chitin. The spots or patterns so formed may be very sharp and distinct or quite diffuse, but their appearance varies in colour and/or density depending on the direction from which the illumination is coming. Consequently, keys will often specify how a particular feature should be viewed; e.g. “with pale grey stripes when viewed from in front with the lighting coming obliquely from behind”. This can cause particular difficulty when dealing with flies preserved in liquids because, when a fly is wet, the colours and patterns formed by dusting are not usually visible.

 
glossary/d/dusting.txt · Last modified: 2008/04/22 23:59 (external edit)     Back to top
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