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> > Handling the delicate larva without DAMAGE

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BrookymanMarch 23rd, 2013, 4:20 pm
Posts: 797
We all know how hard it can be to remove or pick up larva of any genus, especially the Heptageniidae species. In my learning I have found a Technic that seem to work really good.

You will see in the photo a fan-blender and script-liner artist brushes. With these you can pick up all species especially the super tiny guys with ZERO damage. I now use them for everything removing them from solution to a glass plate for dissecting. I even use the script-liner brush for cleaning out the abdominal cavity so I can mount the entire abdomen with the gills on ones side and none on the other.They can also be used to remove diatoms that are stuck on their body setae for photos. Just hold them down with the fan-blender a brush them clean with the script-liner.

When trying to get say a Stenacron interpuctatum off of a rock I put the fan-blender flat in front of the larva and use the script line to coax them onto the fan-blender. You can buy both for about ten bucks at a art supply store. And when catching the swimmers in a tray of water, just place the brush underneath and lift. No damage.

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TaxonMarch 23rd, 2013, 7:43 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1297
Hi Mack-

Sounds like a significant improvement on my crude tools and methods. Can hardly wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
Roger Rohrbeck
BrookymanMarch 23rd, 2013, 9:01 pm
Posts: 797
Hi Roger. your welcome :)

They are great tools it is so easy to pickup even water mites.. I use the golden-hair color ones for two reasons.

1: they allow a neutral color base that makes even a denticulate claw stand out when placing on a slide.

2; they are quite economical, cause some of the really good art brushes can run up to 80 bucks for one so shop with care :)

Enjoy my friend.

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DayTripperMarch 24th, 2013, 9:54 am
Northern MI

Posts: 70
Gonna have to pick these up the next time I'm at hobby lobby.

Another easy way to move individual samples around without damage is with a transfer pipette. Just suck it in, then spit it out where you need it. One of my professors turned me onto them in college and they really do work great. Especially on those bugs that run for cover when they see you coming for them. They're just no match for the suction from a transfer pipette. You can cut the opening a little larger without losing much suction for picking up the bigger guys.

I think my favorite use for them is after you've dumped your seine/net into a big tub for seeing what you scooped up. You can go through and quickly suck up everything you're interested in and dump all the leftover debris back into the stream.
BrookymanMarch 24th, 2013, 2:02 pm
Posts: 797
Hey that's a cool idea I have a pipette but never tried it.

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