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Thysanoptera Californica

Collecting and preparing thrips

A—Slide preparation for rapid identifications

The following method is rapid and thus relatively inexpensive. Slides prepared in water-soluble media are not 'permanent', although some may remain useable for years. This method is recommended for routine identification work, and is particularly appropriate for larvae and for small pale adults.

  1. Remove the specimens from the collecting fluid into clean 70% ethanol.
  2. If the specimens are reasonably flexible, attempt to open the wings and straighten the antennae using micro-pins.
  3. Place a drop of Hoyers Mountant (or a locally available equivalent mountant) onto a cover slip (13mm circle). Place a thrips into this drop, ventral side uppermost, and gently lower a slide onto the drop. Invert the slide as soon as the mountant has spread sufficiently.
  4. When the mountant is dry, ring with nail varnish, and label appropriately (see below).

The cover slip used should be small — large cover slips crush specimens and need more mountant. The slide inversion method is recommended as the traditional method of mounting a specimen onto a slide and then placing the cover slip onto this with forceps often introduces bubbles of air.