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Thysanoptera Californica

Collecting and preparing thrips


  1. Place a clean 13 mm diameter cover slip onto the mounting block; put a drop of Canada Balsam onto the centre of the cover slip and into this place one thrips specimen ventral side uppermost.
  2. If necessary, spread the legs and wings, and straighten the antennae by pressing on the basal segments with a fine needle.
  3. Take a clean microscope slide and lower it firmly but gently onto the specimen in balsam on the cover slip. As soon as the surfaces touch, invert the slide with the coverslip adhering; this technique usually avoids the inadvertent introduction of bubbles. [Sometimes it helps to place a small drop of balsam (or xylene if the drop placed on the cover slip was found to be too large) in the centre of the slide before touching the balsam of the cover slip].
  4. Place the slide onto a hot-plate at once, at about 45°C, to drive off the xylene as quickly as possible. Then dry the slides until they are hard in an oven at about 45°C for several weeks. The quantity of balsam must be sufficient—after it has dried—to support the coverslip without distorting the specimen.


  1. With the head of the thrips directed toward you, the right hand label should indicate the host plant, the country (in capital letters), the locality, date, and collector's name (and any code number).
  2. The left hand label should indicate the sex, morph, genus and species names with author, with sufficient room left for any special notes to be added about that particular specimen e.g. measurements, etc.