Thread subject: :: Genitalia Preparation

Posted by Tony T on 15-12-2007 19:07

Regarding the preparation of Sarcophaga genitalia:
I have made genitalia mounts of thousands of moths and wondered whether that technique would work for flies.
With moths, it is best to work with dry material; fresh genitalia do not make good specimens. So, I took a dry Pollenia male:
1] I cut off the last few abdominal segments (a good idea to have a decent photo of the intact fly before damaging the abdomen);
2] I soaked this piece of abdomen (specimen) in 5% KOH overnight at room temperature (actually 15 hours at 20C). The time required will vary for different species, less time for delicate species, perhaps longer for large tachinids.
3] I transferred the "specimen" to 4 changes of clean water, about 5 mins for each;
4] I transferred the "specimen" to a mixture of alcohol & glycerine (66 parts of 50% alcohol, 33 parts glycerine);
5] I let the alcohol evaporate until the "specimen " was just in glycerine;
6] I dissected out the genitalia, all this meant was to break up and discard the abdominal tergites;
7] tranfer to fresh glycerine and take a photo.

The actual genitalia shows amazing clear details, far better than this photo.

This techique may prove useful when one has more than 1 specimen of the same species so that one can 'sacrifice' one fly for a genitalia preparation.

As to the parts: 1 = epandrium; 2 = cercus; 3 = surstylus; (I think:()