Simple whole mounts

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TonyT
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: New Brunswick, CANADA

Simple whole mounts

#1 Post by TonyT » Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:42 am

Small arthropods such as insects and mites can be made into permanent slides very quickly. Perhaps the most difficult part is to actually collect them! I am thinking of the microscopic species, say 2 mm or less. A Berlese funnel or something similar:
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... erleze.pdf
is the most efficacious method of collecting.

Collect the specimens directly into absolute alcohol, either ethyl, methyl, or isopropyl. A quick rinse in clean alcohol to remove debris.
Mount directly into Euparal. If you can remove most of the alcohol without getting air bubbles in the specimen one can mount directly into Canada Balsam.
Euparal is far more tolerant than Canada Balsam with regard to alcohol.
Some mites have a dark exoskeleton. These can be placed in a clearing agent, and left for a couple of days, directly from the absolute alcohol. Such a treatment will lighten the exoskeleton to such an extent that the specimen becomes more transparent. Remove as much of the clearing agent and mount the specimen in Euparal.

I use Cedarwood Oil as a clearing agent; clove oil and methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) have been used as clearing agents, both should be available in a drug store with the oil of wintergreen in the aroma therapy section! I have no idea if these are compatible with Euparal or CB.

Here is an Oribatid Mite from a Berlese funnel extraction, collected in methanol, treated in Cedarwood Oil for 3 days, mounted in Euparal; photographed with a 20x objective.
At higher magnification I could not see any more detail in that pattern on the dorsal surface except for 8 hair sensillae.
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oribatid mite 22x21.jpg
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tgss
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:48 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Simple whole mounts

#2 Post by tgss » Sun Oct 24, 2021 1:26 am

Very nice image Tony, and a good description of the process. Thank you.
Tom W.

Greg Howald
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:44 am

Re: Simple whole mounts

#3 Post by Greg Howald » Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:28 am

I have done this.
I cut a large circle out of some mesh..I've tried several things but right now I'm using plastic window screen.
Put a couple of table spoonfuls of rice in the center and tie the mesh closed to make a little bag of rice.
Soak it in water until the rice softens. ( that could take days )
Bury the rice bag in the back yard for a couple of weeks.
When you dig it up it should be full of microbes, insects and such.
Good luck. Greg 😃😃😃

TonyT
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:30 pm
Location: New Brunswick, CANADA

Re: Simple whole mounts

#4 Post by TonyT » Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:06 pm

Thanks Tom
If you have not tried such an extraction I think you will surprised by the number and variety of organisms in just 1 liter of old litter.
Even small delicate organisms, such as Springtails, survive the extraction and mounting without damage.
Here is a small nematocera fly that went directly from alcohol to Euparal. I doubt one could catch such a fly in a net and do as little damage to the specimen.
Superimposed is a micrometer scale.
wing closeup: Olympus BH2 40x SPlan objective + 1.25x intermediate tube + 2.5x projection eyepiece; Nikon D7200 (suffers from discharging oil onto the sensor) mounted above the microscope but not attached to the microscope.
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fly 16x21 ex oak.jpg
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fly 16x21 ex oak 40x.jpg
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New Brunswick
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tgss
Posts: 221
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Simple whole mounts

#5 Post by tgss » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:32 pm

Hi Tony
It's on my list, whatever that means :lol:
More excellent images in your post. Thanks again.
Tom W.

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Entomo
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Location: Catania, Sicily, Italy
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Re: Simple whole mounts

#6 Post by Entomo » Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:42 pm

TonyT wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:42 am
Some mites have a dark exoskeleton. These can be placed in a clearing agent, and left for a couple of days, directly from the absolute alcohol. Such a treatment will lighten the exoskeleton to such an extent that the specimen becomes more transparent. Remove as much of the clearing agent and mount the specimen in Euparal.
Hi TonyT
you use Cedarwood Oil as a clearing agent and then include them in euparal. can the piece be directly included in euparal or it has to be cleaned first, and if so how do you clean it?
For the insect genitals I used acetic acid as a clearing agent, and then whipped directly into euparal , but acetic acid is dangerous, a friend of mine recommended isopropyl alcohol, but I have not had any results.
Hello everybody, Antonio. IG: https://www.instagram.com/simurgh.medon/
Leitz Laborlux D - Lumix G90

BramHuntingNematodes
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Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Simple whole mounts

#7 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:17 pm

I have had such bad luck with the hempstead halide euparal that I have almost abandoned it. It is very loose, and even a single tiny springtail is far too thick, let alone a soil mite. The stuff leaks out and leaves large voids. Is there a way to thicken it, or is there some other mistake I am making?
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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Entomo
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Re: Simple whole mounts

#8 Post by Entomo » Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:16 pm

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:17 pm
I have had such bad luck with the hempstead halide euparal that I have almost abandoned it. It is very loose, and even a single tiny springtail is far too thick, let alone a soil mite. The stuff leaks out and leaves large voids. Is there a way to thicken it, or is there some other mistake I am making?
(Sorry for my English, thanks google translator :D ) On the market they sell euparal and the essence of euparal (which serves to dissolve it and should be more fluid). I never understood the difference !! Euparal is already liquid enough and to dissolve it I put another drop. A practical method to thicken a small amount of euparal is to leave it exposed to the open air (outside) for some time (I don't remember how long). The euparal becomes denser. You have to be careful because, being exposed to the air, dirt or dust can fall into it (I covered the bottle with gauze). When I have to use it, with the tip of a pin I put very little of it on the support, then I lay the piece to be included on it (which remains stationary) then I put a drop of the more liquid one on top. Alternatively I prepare some supports in advance with a drop of euparal and leave them for a couple of days so that the euparal becomes denser.
Hello everybody, Antonio. IG: https://www.instagram.com/simurgh.medon/
Leitz Laborlux D - Lumix G90

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: Simple whole mounts

#9 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:48 pm

Thank you Entomo. I will try these.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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