Wings 4

Wings and associated software (CPR) and hardware tools (Houle et al. 2003) automate the recovery of data on vein placement in the wings of Drosophila species. The user supplies two landmark points, and the software does the rest. To see how the hardware works, and how to build it, watch this video. The software then reduces this image to an "instant wing" summed up in only 54 coordinate pairs.

The image to the right shows a B-Spline model (colored lines) fit to a video image of a live fly wing. The best part is that this wing was still attached to a live fly. Thanks to a simple suction device inspired by Ken Weber, we can handle live flies with no harm coming to them. The basic system is described in Houle et al. 2003, a copy of which can be attained below.

We are making available Wings 4, as well as the legacy version Wings 3.72.  CPR collects Wings4 output files (one per image) into a consolidated data set, and performs some basic analyses and visualizations.

Wings 4

This version of Wings 4 is written in Java. It works on Windows operating systems, may be made to work on Mac. Wings 4 is a big improvement over Wings 3.72. Please read the documentation carefully, as it includes the known problems, and that may help you how to avoid them.  This software was written by Kim van der Linde (kim at

CPR 32 bit

CPR 64 bit

CPR reads the spline data files produced by Wings. This is written in Matlab by Eladio Marquez. To run CPR you must first download and install Matlab Component Runtime libraries (MCRInstaller.exe) for Windows, which can obtained from Eladio Marquez’ personal website or directly from MATLAB. It is not necessary to have a copy of Matlab.

Houle, et al. 2003 Automated Measurement of Drosophila Wings BMC Evolutionary Biology, 3:25.

This paper gives a reasonably thorough description of the algorithms and results that can be obtained from the system.  Repeatabilities of landmark data and example results are given for species data and in a selection experiment.  The wing-handling device and the general approach to feature extraction may be of interest to those working on other insect systems.

Legacy WINGMACHINE (Wings 3.72) distribution

This zip file contains the most recent full release Wings 3.72. It will run only under Windows. It frequently takes some tweaking to get this to work. If you have trouble getting it to run, try Wings 4 instead.