Work is devoted to a technique of preparation of unified illustrations of zoological objects. In this work the methods of fulfillment of illustrations from completely manual up to performing the entire procedure in a graphics editor (Photoshop) are considered. The proposed technique enables fulfillment of scientific illustrations by specialists in concrete groups of organisms not necessarily possessing art skills. In the work main principles and approaches to fulfillment of scientific images of objects are stated. On an example of ichneumon flies of fam. Ichneumonidae, fulfillment of all actions necessary for creating illustrations, both of total object, and features of morphology of taxonomically significant parts of a body, is described in details and step by step. The possibilities of usage of intermediate layers of files with drawings as illustrations of characters for taxonomical analysis, and for revealing regularities of development of same or other characters and as illustrations in identification keys are considered. On an example of a single species – Pithotomus tschitscherini (Kokujev,1904) – the sequence of actions from fulfillment of a contour of objects up to preparation of the final table of illustrations of a taxon in a color format is demonstrated. In conclusion, a detailed, unified description of the object with a numbering of all characters which are labeled in the summary plate of illustrations is adduced. All necessary operations are illustrated with 864 drawings and the results with 47 color tables containing 285 finished color pictures of total images of imago and taxonomically significant body parts. Principles, techniques and the sequence of operations developed for model group of insects can be used for preparation of the unified scientific illustrations of any objects of wildlife.
The guide is intended for scientists and graduate students specializing in taxonomy of any wildlife objects. It can be used in the practical training of students studying for biological specialties. The article may be useful to animal painters and designers who use computer graphics in their work.
K e y w o r d s : zoological object, insects, ichneumon fly, Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, scientific illustration, scientific picture, technique of scientific illustration, graphics editor, Photoshop.