Surrogate Drawer Specifications


 Full surrogate drawer Detail sectionl surrogate drawer Photos of an example surrogate drawer (Credit: Reed Beaman, National Science Foundation)

To ensure a common basis for all Entrants, drawers, unit trays, and pins (as well as any other entomological equipment necessary) must meet the specifications below as well as those provided in the associated appendices. Some examples of how to obtain the equipment include borrowing or partnering with a university, natural history museum, or natural science collection; building the drawer and unit trays based on the specifications below and in the appendices; or purchasing the appropriate materials. Some, but not all, vendors include:

Refer to Appendices A--I (Drawer, Unit Tray, and Content Specifications) for comprehensive measurements and required information related to the drawer, unit tray, specimens, and labels.

There must be no overlap of specimen wings (shingling) EXCEPT in Tray 4 between specimens 3 and 5. Any other overlap between specimens (limbs, antennae, etc) should be very minimal to non-existent. The system must be able to handle any overlapping specimens within the tray (for example, warning system for human intervention later, movement of box, etc). Per the Competition guidelines, there can be no human intervention after placement of the entire specimen drawer in the imaging station developed by the Entrant.

  1. All measurements are provided in inches.
  2. Measurements may be rounded to the nearest 1/16th of an inch as necessary
  3. Unit Tray Inserts (Crosshair Pages)
    1. Must be printed at 100% scale, using 36 lb white 100% cotton paper.
    2. The insert consists of the area within the grey and labeled bounding box and must be cut and placed within the tray to enable proper pin placement for each specimen.
    3. Use the second crosshair page, without the specimen labeling, as the tray insert.
  4. Labels
    1. Labels must be printed at 100% scale, using 36 lb white 100% cotton paper.
    2. Labels must be printed in full color in the sRGB color space at a minimum of 300 dpi.
    3. Labels must be cut to the visible boundaries.
    4. In Trays 1, 6, and 7 the unit tray labels must be placed upright and held in place by two vertical pins.
  5. Drawer Specifications
    1. Purchase, borrow, or build a Cornell drawer with a hardboard bottom. The type of wood (for example, poplar, pine, etc.) that the box is constructed from does not matter.
  6. Unit Trays
    1. Unit trays are individual and removable from the drawer.
    2. Unit trays with the following dimensions must be used:
      1. Cornell unit tray with polyethylene foam pinning bottom, 4-3/8 x 7-5/16" - Quantity = 3; Trays 1, 2, and 5
      2. Cornell unit tray with polyethylene foam pinning bottom, 8-9/16 x 7-5/16" - Quantity = 2; Trays 3 and 4
      3. Cornell unit tray with polyethylene foam pinning bottom, 4-3/8 x 3-5/8" - Quantity = 1; Tray 8
      4. Cornell unit tray with polyethylene foam pinning bottom, 4-3/8 x 1-13/16" - Quantity = 1; Tray 7
      5. Cornell unit tray with polyethylene foam pinning bottom, 4-3/8 x 1-1/8" - Quantity = 1; Tray 6
    3. Unit trays specifications are contained within Appendices B through I. Trays are numbered and placed first left to right, and then top to bottom.
    4. Each unit tray contains a foam base into which the specimen pin is inserted. The unit tray insert will be placed on top of the foam base for each tray to ensure accurate placement of each pin.
    5. "x" and "y" measurements are provided for the exterior dimensions of each unit tray.
    6. "z" measurements are provided for the interior dimensions of each unit tray; the "z" measurement indicates the interior distance from the top lip of the unit tray to the cardboard bottom, and the "internal" measurement indicates the distance from the surface of the foam base to the top lip of the unit tray.
    7. In order to reduce any significant movement of trays within the drawer, a spacer will be required in front of Tray 6. A suggested material for the spacer is wood.
    8. Trays 6 and 7 have no dimensions for the specimens. They should be very small, with sizes ranging from roughly 1 to 2 mm.
  7. Specimen pins must be #2 insect pins.
  8. Specimen Dimensions
    1. Specimen dimensions are provided for each surrogate specimen on each pin within each tray. Specimens must measure within ± 10% of the indicated values in order to ensure realistic obscuring of the underlying labels.
    2. Specimen "x" coordinates refer to the left-to-right dimension of the specimen,when viewed from above.
    3. Specimen "y" coordinates refer to the top-to-bottom dimension of the specimen, when viewed from above.
    4. Specimen "z" coordinates refer to the depth dimension of the specimen (i.e., the measurement from dorsal to ventral surfaces).
    5. The specimens may be built from any material, but some example materials are as follows:
      1. Plastic tubing 1?4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1?2 inch outer dimension
      2. 30-gauge cloth wire
      3. Cardstock 0.01 inch thick,various colors
      4. Foam sheets 0.063 inch thick, various colors
      5. Chenille stems (pipe cleaners) 1?4 inch diameter, black
  9. Capsules
    1. Trays 2 and 5 require capsules.
    2. The capsules must be standard "00" gelatin capsules.
    3. The capsules do not require any contents.
  10. Label and Specimen Placement on the Pin
    1. Measurements provided indicate the distance from the point (sharp end) of the pin to the bottom of the object described. For example:
      1. Label 1 Position 0.45 inch indicates that the bottom of the label is 0.45 inch from the point of the pin.
      2. Specimen Position 0.7 inch indicates that the ventral surface of the specimen is 0.7 inch from the point of the pin.
      3. Note that some labels must be touching, or nearly touching, as reflected by the measurements. These scenarios represent real-world situations that must be overcome within the context of the Competition.
    2. A pinning block may be helpful for this process.
    3. In Tray 2, the first label for each specimen (label closest to the point of the pin) must be flush with the top of the foam of the tray.
    4. In Tray 6, all of the labels must be flush with each other (touching).
  11. Pin Placement within the Unit Tray
    1. After constructing the drawer and unit trays, cut out the unit tray inserts and place them at the bottom of each unit tray. Use the second crosshair page, without specimen labels, as the insert.
    2. Create specimen surrogates and cut out specimen labels, and place them on the pins per specifications.
    3. Place each pin within the designated unit tray at the location indicated by the crosshairs on the unit tray insert.

For full contest rules, visit the Complete Contest Rules and Materials section.



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