In the method described below adult aphid specimens are cleared and mounted in Canada balsam on microscope slides – a technique that the author use for more than 20 years:
- Boring the ventral side of specimen’s abdomen, almost between cornicles bases.
- Boiling the specimens in 10% KOH about 5-15 minutes. Recently collected aphids (fresh specimens) should be boiled about 10–15 minutes, and other aphids, collected in the past and preserved in alcohol for months or years, should be boiled about 5–10 minutes.
- Immersing the specimens in a detergent fluid (this maybe one of the common domestic detergents, diluted at 30% in distilled water) for about 5 min.
- Rinsing the specimens in distilled water about 5–10 min.
- Immersing the specimens in ethanol 75% about 3 min.
- Immersing the specimens in ethanol 96% about 2 min.
- Soaking the specimens in clove oil (Euginol) about 15 min.
- Transferring the specimens to a thin drop of Canada balsam and rapidly arranging the correct position of them. Putting the cover slip but not pressing it onto the Canada balsam.
- Drying the microscopic slide preparations horizontally in an oven at 45˚C for about three weeks.
While arranging the aphids on the slide, the followings should be taken into consideration:
– The ventral surface of the body should be directed upwards and the dorsal body should be in contact with the slide surface.
– Legs and antenna should be completely spread apart.
– If the thorax is dark, rostrum should be displaced to one side (usually right) so that the URS is not obscured by the thorax.
When referencing this page, please use the following format: Mehrparvar, M. (Year) Preservation & Mounting Aphids. [retrieval date]. <http://aphidology.com/mounting-aphids/>.