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An Aquatic Insect Imaging System to Automate Insect Classification

TitleAn Aquatic Insect Imaging System to Automate Insect Classification
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSarpola, M., R. Paasch, E. N. Mortensen, T. G. Dietterich, D. A. Lytle, A. Moldenke, and L. G. Shapiro
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Date Published2008
Keywordsautomated, classification, digital image, insects, water quality

Population counts of aquatic insects are a valuable tool for monitoring the water quality of rivers and streams. However, the handling of samples in the lab for species identification is time consuming and requires specially trained experts. An aquatic insect imaging system was designed as part of a system to automate aquatic insect classification and was tested using several species and size classes of stonefly (Plecoptera). The system uses ethanol to transport specimens via a transparent rectangular tube to a digital camera. A small jet is used to position and reorient the specimens so that sufficient pictures can be taken to classify them with pattern recognition. A mirror system is used to provide a split set of images 90° apart. The system is evaluated with respect to engineering requirements developed during the research, including image quality, specimen handling, and system usability.