Butterfly eggs and other opaque subjects as microscopical
by Mike Samworth
Recently I have had the good fortune to photograph some old
slides. Amongst these were a number of opaque objects, and these
are often neglected when people are using a compound or high
powered microscope. This is a pity, and I hope my pictures in
this article show that there is much to look at, including some
Arranged butterfly eggs (Watson
The above illustration shows a variety of butterfly eggs,
beautifully arranged against a matt black background. Keen
lepidopterists may be able to identify what butterflies they
belong to. Others will just be happy to marvel at the inherent
beauty in these finely sculptured objects, plus of course the
skill of the mounter in arranging them.
More butterfly eggs.
I think some of these look more like pale green grapes or even
These are flower seeds, again arranged in a pattern. Apart
from the skill and patience involved it is worth considering how
well these preparations have lasted. I am certainly going to
collect some small seeds this summer, with a view to trying my
hand at making slides. I wonder if I will be able to organise
myself well enough to make a note of the plant species as well!
Lastly, some hummingbird feathers. I do hope that these were
moulted feathers and not removed from the bird solely for the
purpose of mounting.
All photomicrographs by Mike Samworth.
Editor's note: Viewing opaque objects with a
compound microscope is very easy, read a Micscape article
on incident lighting.
© Microscopy UK or their
First published in July 1998
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