University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Herpetology Radiographs


Collection Information

The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Division of Reptiles and Amphibians, presently maintains a collection of 2,875 radiograph film plates, of which 1,120 have images of caecilians and 268 have images of pygopod lizards. In order to make these more accessible for research, we have begun digitizing the film plates by using digital photography with the aid of a GE x-ray illuminator. The digital renditions have been manipulated to enhance contrast and brightness and the visual quality is improved compared to the originals. Individual plates generally contain multiple specimen images. Diagrams of individual specimens are figured on the paper x-ray storage envelopes for each film plate, acting as an identification map, and thus enabling the linking to individual specimen records in the database.

Presently, there are more than 5,900 records for caecilians, and over 1,800 records for pygopods in the database represented by an x-ray image. These account for at least 133 species (or at least about 65% of known species) and 27 species of pygopods (or about 77% of known species). Approximately 40% of these specimens are catalogued at the UMMZ, while the rest exist in museum collections worldwide. We were fortunate to have borrowed research material from other museum collections with permission to prepare radiograph images. It is our hope that by sharing our database of digital images, other museum collections will be able to associate the images with their vouchers as we have done in our collection.

[Additional instructions]

This collection contains images of radiographs of caecilians and pygopod lizards taken by employees of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Division of Reptiles and Amphibians.

All the images in the collection are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC-BY-SA 4.0). This means you are free to share and adapt the images for any purpose, even commercially, so long as you provide attribution by giving appropriate credit, providing a link to the license, and indicating if changes were made. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original. Note: you do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.

If you have concerns about the inclusion of an image in this collection or if you would like to use these images in ways that exceed the terms of the license above, please contact Greg Schneider at

If you reuse photographs from this collection, please use the following attribution and copyright notice: © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan. This image was created by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Division of Reptiles and Amphibians. It is licensed under the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.