What organisms can be viewed using a wet mount?
Found in: Microscopy FAQ


It is also possible to make a wet mount using pure glycerine. Wet mounts are temporary in nature and can not be stored over extended time periods.

A wet mount is probably one of the most universal ways of preparing a slide. The organism should still meet these criteria:

  • The organism must be sufficiently thin. Otherwise it is not possible to place it between slide and cover glass. Water fleas and other similar creatures can be viewed by placing a spacer beneath the cover glass.
  • The organism should have a refractive index which is different from that of the mounting medium (i.e. water). Bacteria have a similar refractive index and are therefore difficult to see, unless one uses DIC or phase contrast methods.
  • The organism should have a color but should not be opaque. It should allow light to pass through. Otherwise one is only able to see a dark shadow.
  • The organism’s natural habitat should be compatible with the mounting medium. For example, if you attempt to view salt water organisms, then it may not be a good idea to use fresh water for making the wet mount. This may damage the organism.
  • This post is in response to a reader’s question.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.