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Butterfly scale slide prep

 
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houstontx



Joined: 31 Jul 2015
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Butterfly scale slide prep Reply with quote

What is the best way to prepare butterfly wing scales for viewing on the slide? I have tried scraping them off into water and immersion oil. But it is prone to air bubbles and the scales are not very dense in the frame. Is there a way to concentrate the scales better?

I have also tried sections of whole wing which do work but again lots of air bubbles as immersion oil doesn't penetrate in the scales fully.
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houstontx



Joined: 31 Jul 2015
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was about as dense in the frame as I could get them off the wing. Scraping them over the slide just makes them float away.

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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3418

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Butterfly scales Reply with quote

I have found the best mounting technique for butterfly scales and wings is a dry mount. Because butterfly wing colors are the result of refraction ( much like Blue Jay feathers) any mounting medium will dull any colors. When I mount a wing, I put a small drop of mountant on the slide and attach the wing to the drop. Then I put down four small drops of mountant at the positions of the corner of the cover slip and use them to glue the cover slip to the slide. I use the same technique for pollen since most mountants bleed any pigments out of the pollen. This same technique should work for scales scraped off onto a slide.

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



Joined: 31 Jul 2015
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

You are right, dry mount is best, and I found scraping with the end of a small thin flathead screwdriver onto the slide and then wiping the edges of the screwdriver onto the slide deposits them very densely. Getting better pictures. Attached is brightfield, 10x APO, 25 image stack with 5mp USB cam.
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