damaged wings, oe and microscopes

This topic contains 33 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Darren 9 years, 3 months ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #14263

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I found a butterfly lying on the ground yesterday with deformed wings. It was untagged and so I suspected OE. I took a sample of scales from its abdomen and looked at it with my microscope and not a single spore could I see. While I had the microscope out I also had a look at scales on the abdomen of one that had recently hatched inside but seemed to have weak legs, again not a spore to be seen.

    I would have thought that there would be the odd one lingering at least so I did wonder if I were looking for the right thing.

    I looked outside where I had found the deformed one and it had pupated on the underside of a ginger leaf. I think the leaf might have been too smooth and given it poor grip so I blame the caterpillar. (and yes we can grow edible gingers in Dunedin!)

    So that leads me to saying if anyone in the area wants to look at their scale sample slides with my microscope (a decent one) they are welcome to contact me.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 33 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #25000

    Darren
    Participant

    Thank you Jennifer, it has arrived and much appreciated

    #24874

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Slides posted to you and Darren yesterday, standard post so it will probably be about a year bfore they arrive!

    #24828

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Hi Jennifer,

    Emailing you my snail mail address for you to send the slide.

    Thanks
    Char

    #24825

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Jennifer, I don’t think Darren and Char saw this post… bringing it up to the top again.

    #24782

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Darren and flutterbys. I have got a slide of OE each for you if you would still like one. They will need to be used in the near future as I have just used the sellotape method with no fixative. I wont send you a good one because you wont need that. Just let me know where to post them to.

    #24694

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Darren, they were intersting pictures. I hadnt found the sample slide pictures on that sight complete with its helpful key. However those slides were clearer than mine. The problem of finding the spores is that the mostly the sellotape creates an air bubble around the spore and often even where there is none especially if the spores have clumped and are underneath or even over the scale, Getting a focusing depth is very difficult and without being exactly on, the spores become invisible, or alternatively they look round. Sometimes they are nigh on indistinguishable from other debris. Its hard to describe without seeing. I wish I could take photos though my microscope. The quality of the sellotape matters. Newer tape makes a better seal with the slide. I did have another infected butterfly and I took several samples to meet the above requests but I used old tape and while I could see the spores because I knew what I was looking at, they would not be very useful for self training. Still, sooner or later I will get it together with a sick butterfly and get you some samples

    #24673

    Darren
    Participant

    This is the MonarchHealth page on testing for Oe in a classroom. Very helpful
    http://www.uga.edu/monarchparasites/Classroom%20Resources/index.html

    More detail on the tape sampling procedure
    http://www.uga.edu/monarchparasites/testing/index.html

    #24462

    Flutterby Monarchs
    Participant

    Would be great for some NZ ideas on OE & frequency, I have seen info on US occurence & detection, I’m planning to screen a small sample of breeding pairs when it gets warmer & look at mortality rates compared with the rest. Apparently elevated levels are found in areas of intensive commercial vegetable farming where pesticides are used.

    #24429

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    He was going to try and catch up with me last week but I’ve been driving around rural areas where there’s no cellphone coverage, and now he’s gone on holiday… so it will be a week or maybe more before I get to discuss it with him. I will need to see what they’re prepared to do, but what they’re doing in the USA is people send in samples and they analyse the incidence of Oe from those.

    People use adhesive tape (I would use the word s/e(l)l/o-tape but I know the owners of that brand have patent attorneys who will pick up on using the brand name and send me a letter about breach of copyright!) and attach the samples to cards and mailed in.

    I will let you know as soon as I know any more. I’m very excited about this.

    #24420

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Great Jacqui – what is it that he is prepared to do was it prepare some teaching slides from infected butterflies?
    Jennifer

    #24412

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I don’t know anything about them, Jennifer… but I have tracked down the scientist who is interested in Oe and he says “We’d be keen to do this and support the work of the Trust. It will also be interesting for us to get an idea of the incidence and distribution of Oe.”

    He may well know more about the polysine slides.

    I will keep you informed!

    Jacqui

    #24411

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I have discovered another interesting thing. There are all kinds of slides that you can stick samples onto directly, one is a polysine slide. This you could just roll over the butterflys abdomen and it would remove the need to use sellotape. You would still need to fix it for keeping and possibly a slide cover. Does anyone know anything about these type of slides?

    #24410

    Darren
    Participant

    thanks for trying Jennifer.

    #24407

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I am sorry to disappoint Darren and flutterbuys but the freezing to euthanase the butterfly and then a second time to preserve it until i could do the slides has damaged the spores. They are not helpfully recognizable. At x1000 on my original slide you could see the cellular structure and the cell division where it was occuring and even that is now less clear. On the new slides I have prepared you can not really separate tham visually from all the other debris, moisture etc (except for the colour.) I dont think they will be much use to you for learning puposes. (I have just looked this up on the internet and the spores are destroyed by freezing) If anyone gives me another affected butterfly I will try again for you.

    #24394

    Charlotte
    Participant

    I absolutely agree with you Jacqui;-)).
    Now get cracking and think of that mans name. LOL

    Cheers
    Char

    #24391

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    This would be a great topic for the conference next year, don’t you think? I will try even harder to find the name of that man down Otago who knew so much…

    Jacqui

    #24390

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Jennifer I wouldn’t mind a set so I can spot OE clearly. Only if you feel you are able to do this.

    Cheers
    Char

    #24387

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I recovered the butterfly from the rubbish and will have ago at some slides for you Darren. I will let you know if successful. One problem about keeping them for next year is I dont know how they will last without some fixative. Sellotape will not really preserve them as lots of air bubbles form round the 3 dimensional scales, hairs other cellular debris and spores.

    #24368

    Darren
    Participant

    I’d like a set. It’s a subject I would like to pursue further next season. I just need to persuade my employer that the preschoolers really need a microscope 😉

    #24355

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Mmm. I threw the butterfly away. I will see if I can retrieve it. I agree with you about the real thing. How many would you suggest I do?

    #24339

    Darren
    Participant

    Sorry to hear that got an infected butterfly, but its good to know that you can positivly identify Oe. I used to get splitting headaches after spending all day at a microscope so I sympathise with your not wanting to do it for a living!

    Could you make up a couple of slides, one with Oe and one without to send to people wanting to learn how to spot it? I find you can’t beat the real thing for training purposes.

    #24327

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I now know what Oe looks like. I was given a pupa by someone who was going away as it was about to hatch out. When it did so it fell off its case unnoticed by me. It was obviuosly after its wings had expanded and it couldnt get up, seemingly because it had fallen on its wet exudation, and one wing was curved. I was quite distressed. The next morning it seemed alert and took food. I resolved to see if it could fly in the evening when we had the lounge nice and warm with our cozy logburner. Luckily I had isolated the butterfly as a precaution. In the evening despite warming up it was lethargic, wanted more food but drooped. I decided to take a sellotape sample just in case and lo and behold, lots of spores. So I have just spent the last 2 hrs disinfecting everything. Unfortunately there are 2 things I cant undo. I think I fed all the emerged butterflies this morning on the same tea towel I had used the previous night to see how he stood. The other was that I had put the swan plant twig in the vase with my branches with the last 3 caterpillars. I cant disinfect those. One is just weaving its silk attachment now so i cant take him off. Bother.
    Anyway there we are – I have learnt that it is quite easy to see Oe when it is there, and I shouldnt take other people stock without better precautions.

    #24290

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I have now looked at slides I made of 2 more butterflies scales. These were from pupae that had blottchy markings a bit like photos indicating oe. Again narry a spore. I pressed a little harder this time with the tape on the poor little furry abdomens. As I had just fed them they have probably got indigestion now! I wish I could tell them it was for the sake of science. As a result of this firmer pressure I got all sorts of other lttle bits of tissue and debris so I feel I am sampling correctly. It is very tedious scanning carefully through the whole slide. I dont know how anyone could do this for a living. Anyway I am pretty confident that I dont have oe. I am also thinking that while the blotches may be present in oe infected pupae there may be other benign reasons for the markings.

    #24256

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Just the little packets to put them in, to hold them… and little round sticky bits which are easier to manage than sticky tape.

    #24248

    Darren
    Participant

    I did some training as a microscopist but I don’t have any experience on the biological side. I had assumed looking for Oe would be a major job, but the instructions at LiveMonarch make it look quite easy. What is in the kit Jacqui?

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 33 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.