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 8 replies - 26 through 33 (of 33 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #24244

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Oh Jaqui, I forgot to answer you about Landcare. I will see what I can find out as time permits!!!!

    #24243

    Jennifer
    Participant

    I cant see that you really need a kit. Just the slides really. And if you are going to look at them yourself perhaps a few photographs. I was careful to arm myself with those first. Having done much lab work in my youth I knew that you need to know what you are going to see, or else you dont see it. I dont know how Gallileo found his moons. I just used clear sellotape beong careful to get it lying as smooth as possible on the slide after taking the samples. The most difficult part was ensuring the butterflies legs or even wings didnt get stuck to the tape. They tried to pull up their abdomens into the wings.

    I saw on one web site that they get people to put their scale samples on card. I do have a disection microscope but the magnification isnt really great enough for my inexperienced eye to distinguish the small air bubble clusters from potential spores.

    I am happy to look at others peoples slides.

    I am going to examine a couple more from slightly dubious looking pupae if they hatch. It costs nothing except time.

    I dont yet feel confident to conclude that my butterflies are free from OE. I need to look at some more before I come to such a conclusion. But I do think that on the evidence the deformed wild one I mentioned that started me looking down the scope was much more like a case of imperfectly inflated wings and it appears to have fallen from a less than ideal pupation surface. And who knows, the cold might have stopped it in its tracks.

    #24239

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I hosted some entomologists from the University of Georgia who were sampling Monarchs, I think about nine months ago. We drove around and around Auckland and couldn’t find many butterflies – we sampled four or five from the butterfly house at West Lynn. He reported back to me (they took the samples to Georgia) that they did have Oe, but I don’t think the levels were very high.

    There is a huge argument going on between the butterfly release industry in the USA and scientists – some say that releases increase the likelihood of Oe, whereas the farmers say that they actually ensure that their stock are clean, so they’re only releasing unaffected stock…

    A few years ago a scientist in Dunedin tested mine, and I think we could work with him on this. I am sure he’d be interested. We have the Oe test kits (nothing very fancy, really… And I have made up a set of instructions of how to test. It would be easy to make some test kits up and distribute them and we could do this as a project if that was what members wanted.

    I have a series of photographs that I took at the time we were at West Lynn, there was one (maybe two?) in the newsletter at the time.

    #24236

    Darren
    Participant

    Nice. How would you feel about having people mail you samples? It would be very interesting to guage our Oe levels in NZ. My gut feeling is that they will be closer to the florida population levels than the eastern population levels. I’m not aware of any large scale sampling having been done in NZ.

    #24229

    Jennifer
    Participant

    Eyepiece is x10 and objective is x10 – x100
    There is plenty of magnification.

    #24228

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I am sure he was at Landcare, but cannot trace him now – do you want to try contacting Landcare down there and seeing if they have a “virologist” who specialists in diseases of insects?

    J.

    #24227

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Jennifer – when I discovered that I had Oe it was because a scientist in Dunedin analysed samples of my sick and dying caterpillars. This was some years ago… but he IS based in Dunedin. I will try and remember his name. What scientific institutions do you have down there, besides the university? Landcare?

    #24223

    Darren
    Participant

    what magnification can you get?

Viewing 8 replies - 26 through 33 (of 33 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.