Data from: Ready species one: exploring the use of augmented reality to enhance systematic biology with a revision of Fijian Strumigenys (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Sarnat, Eli et al. (2020), Data from: Ready species one: exploring the use of augmented reality to enhance systematic biology with a revision of Fijian Strumigenys (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1f9d55b
Advances in technology are rapidly changing the way people transmit, view, and interact with information. These advances offer new opportunities for researchers to share scientific discoveries with each other and the general public as never before. The field of revisionary biology has audiences confined to small groups of specialists, but the core task of systematic biology—documenting the endless forms of nature—is particularly well suited to capitalize on innovations in the realm of virtual, mixed and augmented reality. Interactive 3D digital models of biological specimens can help bridge barriers across scientific disciplines by circumventing technical jargon, and also promise to open exciting new vistas for public engagement. Here, we explore the potential of augmented reality for communicating the discovery of new species. As a test case, we revise a radiation of Strumigenys miniature trap-jaw ants in Fiji. In addition to traditional revisionary elements, we present an augmented reality application built specifically for this study. The application runs on mobile devices and allows users to interact with x-ray microtomography derived 3D specimen models and visualize 3D geographic distribution maps. We recognize twenty-three species in Fiji, including six new species: S. anorak n. sp., S. artemis n. sp., S. avatar n. sp., S. gunter n. sp., S. oasis n. sp., and S. parzival n. sp. This study demonstrates the potential of leveraging 3D data and technology for a more interactive systematic biology, and the need for research programs to develop robust and generalized tools to realize this potential.