Leptadora

by Howard Webb (Bloomington, IN, USA)


Background

I seem to have a love/hate relationship with Leptadora. It is always a surprise when I find them in a collecting sample, and they are always difficult to separate out and handle.

The other week I was conducting some water quality monitoring at Lake Yellowwood and collected a sample of what appeared to be mostly copepods, it was not till later when I was deciding to throw it out or not that a 'ghost daphnia' made itself evident; you don't see the Leptadora, but see the water currents and swirling of other matter as it swims around.

The following is more of an experiment in possibilities rather than serious, quality work.

Leptadora  (click to enlarge)

Method

Where I come to hate Leptadora is that I have yet to get a good preparation and good pictures, and this attempt was no exception. In trying to extract it from the jar, and separate it from the copepods, it was severely injured; and the quick wet mount did not make it any better. This was more a further experiment with the Raspberry Pi camera and software.

This was done with a wet mount, bright field and 100x.

I ended up with 38 images taken with the Raspberry Pi. Originally I thought I would run groups of them through CombineZ to sharpen the focus, then through some panorama software. I was not sure what would work with staggered images, so first just threw them all at Image Compose Editor to see if it would work. Surprisingly, it worked its way through all the images and even seemed to pull out the sharpest ones.

This looks like a good process, if I can just get a good specimen and decent prep. Then again, this is just the beginning of the sampling season.

Microscope: my old standby: Bausch & Lomb monocular, 10x ocular, 4x, 10x and 40x objectives.

Camera: Raspberry Pi (8 Megapixel).

Software: Python, CombineZP, Image Composite Editor.

 

Comments to the author Howard Webb are welcomed.

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Published in the July 2017 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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