Digital Repository of Information
for the
Langerhans Laboratory
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What is the DRILL?       -- a web-based search of the LLSTC and the lab's associated metadata.

  • The DRILL stands for the Digital Repository of Information for the Langerhans Laboratory.

  • The DRILL comprises our database of biological collections (the LLSTC: Langerhans Laboratory Specimen & Tissue Collection) and metadata (e.g. specimen photos, x-rays, videos, morphometric and molecular data) associated with specimens in the LLSTC, as well as some specimens permanently housed in other collections (e.g., Texas Natural History Museum, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology). The LLSTC currently contains a total of over 50,000 specimens.

  • Currently (September 2014), the DRILL contains approximately 600 catalogued collections, over 22,000 individually identifiable specimens, approximately 43,600 photographs, and approximately 9,000 x-rays.

  • The database so far has a strong emphasis on fishes of the genus Gambusia, particularly in the Bahamas (~90% of DRILL). However, processing of additional specimens, collections, data, and types of metadata during the next few years will greatly expand both the depth and breadth of representative information.

  • The DRILL has been made possible with funding from the National Science Foundation (DEB-0842364) and North Carolina State University. It is directed by Dr. R. Brian Langerhans, with key contributors so far being Craig Layman, Kathleen Quigley, Corwin Hess, Swetha Surapaneni, Jennifer Warrillow, and Aimee Langerhans. Many undergraduate students have also contributed substantially to the DRILL, including Stuart Bumgarner, Tara Easter, Stephen Faulk, Caitlynn Filla, Amos Fung, Taylor Lansing, Amber Makowicz, Holly Noel, and Kenzi Stemp. We are also grateful for numerous contributions of specimens, tissues, and data from many colleagues.

  • LLSTC resources may be loaned or gifted to researchers pursuing relevant research projects. Contact the Langerhans Lab Manager (and LLSTC manager) if interested.

How do I use the DRILL?
  • First, please note that use of this database is strictly for non-commercial, educational purposes. If you wish to use any data, please contact the PI directly (Brian Langerhans, langerhans-at-ncsu-dot-edu).

  • To find specimens or collections of interest, enter your search terms in the available boxes and select relevant filters, check the columns of the database you wish to see in the search results output, and click "Search the DRILL". You can search for specific terms within specific columns using the search boxes at the top (Family, Genus, Species...), but can also search for the occurrence of terms within any column ("Other Search Terms" search box).

  • View images (or download videos) of specimens by clicking on the Image Type value (e.g., Photograph) for a given specimen within the search results table. If that cell is empty, then no image is available; if the text is not hyperlinked, then an image exists in .raw format (this is not downloadable since browsers cannot view it).

  • Download multiple images (or videos) simultaneously into a compressed .zip file by checking multiple records in the "Download Image?" column, and clicking the "Download Image Files" link at the top. Downloads are limited to 65 images at a time. Images are saved in the .zip file using the original folder structure for the DRILL.

  • Re-sort the order of presentation of results by clicking on a column header in the search results table -- this will re-sort the results according to that column (alphanumeric).

  • Download an Excel file with all the search results (all data contained within the search results for the columns originally selected during the search) by clicking the "Export Results to Excel" link at the top of the page.

  • Why do some records lack a Specimen ID? While most specimens in the collection database have a unique Specimen ID and are housed in an individual container in the lab, some metadata (e.g., photographs) are not directly linked to a specific individual (e.g., when x-rays or photos were taken and then fish were simply returned to collection jars) and thus do not have a Specimen ID. However, all specimens should have collection information.

  • Scale Information: Photographs with a grid background (black squares on white) are 5 mm squares; photographs with a white background and black lines at the bottom that alternate long and short are 5 mm apart; photographs with a white background and clear ruler with black lines at the bottom are standard 1 mm ruler lines. For x-ray images, those with a labeled suffix follow this scale; those without a suffix (and have black background with white bones) have a scale of 0.014104 mm/px.

  • Report errors, problems with the website, and make suggestions for improvement by clicking the "Report Errors" link found on the pages.

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A Simple Search of the DRILL

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