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Dragonfly nymph

 
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3422

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Dragonfly nymph Reply with quote

Dragonfly nymph



Specimen preparation

When I do a pond dip, I usually let the jar sit on the windowsill for a day or two to let the critters settle to the bottom. Then I take the the big sample (like an algae mat) out with a tweezers and then filter the remaining water through a wire tea strainer to take out the big stuff. In this case, a dragonfly nymph was in the strainer.
I dropped the nymph into a small jar full of rubbing alcohol and left it overnight. The next day I put the nymph on a plate of glass and using a teasing needle drew the legs out into a somewhat natural position and allowed the specimen to air dry.
Once dry, I glued a pin on the end of a pipe cleaner onto the underside of the abdomen. Then I clipped the pipe cleaner into my stacking rig, positioned the specimen and did my stack.
Retouched out the pin in Photoshop.

Mike
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Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1487
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice, Mike. Thank you for sharing.

I heard immersing insects first into vinegar for about 4-8 hrs (then onto alcohol) can retain their colors better. Though in this case, you probably did not have any to lose.

Vinegar is supposed to stop enzymes that digest away some insect colors. Such fixation method is typical in entomology. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236020507_Methods_for_Collecting_Preserving_and_Studying_Insects_and_Other_Terrestrial_Arthropods

For a small lacewing though, it seems best to immerse in vinegar for 2-3 hrs, then air dry. Alcohol immersion removed their colors in about 6 hrs. Air drying without vinegar did the same over a few days.
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 642
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn

Many thanks to the link to "Methods for Collecting and Preserving" above. What a great resource!

Olympusman

Thanks for posting the dragonfly nymph.

I have done a fair amount of observing the muddy bank of a small stretch of a local lake. The critters in residence are amazing. I have used time lapse photography of a mud sample to show the vigorous churning of the upper 1/4 inch or so that the critters perform. The abundance of life where there only appears to be mud really surprised me. Surprising what you find when you look! While watching the bank the dragonflies put on some amazing aerial displays. A pleasure to watch.

Keith
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3422

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Vinegar immersion Reply with quote

That vinegar immersion technique is good to know. I have found that immersing an insect such as a hornet directly in alcohol not only removes the yellow but turns the entire bug black.

Mike
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svalley



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 272
Location: Albany, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Capturing dragonfly nymph natural colors Reply with quote

A friend of mine has developed a technique for photographing dragonfly nymphs that captures the colors of living specimens very closely.

First, she cleans them carefully with small paintbrushes in 95% ethanol. Rinsing in fresh ethanol until all mud, algae, etc. is removed. Then she immediately photographs them immersed in 95%. Her images are exquisitely beautiful and true to life.

When she has finished photographing them they are preserved by dropping in boiling water for about 3 minutes and then emersion in 80% ethanol.

Steve
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