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Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:02 am
by AntoniScott
It took me longer than I expected, but I prepared the second of two videos on how to prepare whole slide mounts of insects. Not as well organised as the first one, but I hope it is informative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOH7pyya8BI&t=21s




Antoni

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:27 am
by daruosha
Antoni,

Yes it was not as polished as the first video, but still very useful tips and tricks were demonstrated.

Thanks for your efforts and please keep up your awesome work.

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:03 pm
by tgss
Hi Antoni
+1 re: daruosha's post, and don't worry about the delay - we appreciate the time and trouble you have taken to put this together.
Tom W

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:33 am
by Culicoides
An excellent contribution by Darousha; the tip about paper spacers , suspending the slide while manipulating the specimen and the paper clips especially valuable.
I prefer to use Euparal as a mountant; after KOH and maybe a a quick rinse in acetic acid (white vinegar) then an hour or less in IPA and then direct to Euparal, without the bother of dehydration necessary for xylene.
One question however - after KOH to soften and bleach the insect, the wings are very floppy and difficult to display properly. Does anyone have any ideas on this one?

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:09 pm
by AntoniScott
All:
Actually it was not Darousha that posted the presentation (Part 2) but myself. Perhaps Darousha has already posted a presentation on insect mounting that I missed. I was only aware of one method to properly prepare insects for whole mounting but I am always open to other methods. I am particularly concerned about the use of xylene, knowing how dangerous it is. I dabbled in slide preparation decades ago and never remembered using xylene, but clove oil. When I was in high school I had possession of a book dedicated to making slides where the author suggested rolling the insect flat using a wooden dowel. Although this method worked some of the time, usually a limb would break off or it would uncontrollably crush the insect beyond recognition.

I am interested in why Euparal is better than Fisher's Permount. And if I may ask, what is IPA ? And to answer the question about a better method to display wings after KOH/dehydration/Xylene clearing. I have experimented with different methods. It seems that the xylene hardens the insect exoskeleton making it very fragile and prone to breakage. This is why I came up with the method of KOH followed by flattening between glass and then following it with dehydration and then xylene. If rearrangement of the insect for good presentation is preferred, this would be the time to do it.
Antoni

An excellent contribution by Darousha; the tip about paper spacers , suspending the slide while manipulating the specimen and the paper clips especially valuable.
I prefer to use Euparal as a mountant; after KOH and maybe a a quick rinse in acetic acid (white vinegar) then an hour or less in IPA and then direct to Euparal, without the bother of dehydration necessary for xylene.
One question however - after KOH to soften and bleach the insect, the wings are very floppy and difficult to display properly. Does anyone have any ideas on this one?

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:21 pm
by photomicro
I think that some prefer Euparal because it has a clearing effect, but also because it tends to be more tolerant of water, hence if the dehydration is incomplete, this is less of an issue.

I think IPA is an acronym often used for iso-propyl alcohol.

Eric Marson, founder of Northern Biological Supplies (NBS) who amongst other things made and sold slides for half a century, also sold supplies to amateur microscopists. This included kits, which came with a booklet of instructions.

One of these (booklet 7) described how to mount the parts of the honey bee, but what is more, gave full instructions for killing and preserving the insects, softening, decalcifying, laying out, dehydration, clearing and mounting.

Each booklet is A5 and usually around 8 pages. They were later bound together in a title 'Practical Microscopy' in 1983.

If there was enough interest, perhaps booklet 7 could be scanned.

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:31 pm
by Malpi
photomicro wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:21 pm
I think IPA is an acronym often used for iso-propyl alcohol.
If there was enough interest, perhaps booklet 7 could be scanned.
Yes.
and Yes, please, I am interested.

[ There is a joke in the UK that it, IPA, should not be mistaken for India Pale Ale, dont know how well that joke carries elsewhere ]

Re: Whole Mount Insect Slide Preparation Part 2

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:46 pm
by Culicoides
Apologies for the wrong attribution, AntoniScott.
Yes, IPA is isopropyl alcohol. I have not used Fischer’s mountant, so cant comment on this. Best wishes, Culicoides