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pollen load progress

Listen up, Echinacea fans!

I’ve now finished making slides and taking photos of the first 68 insect visitors–only 107 left to go.

Here are some photos of the process:

1) Here is an insect carrying LOADS of pollen (haha! get it?) which I am about to transfer onto a small agar cube on a microscope slide.
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2) I heat the slide, complete with pollen-covered agar cube and cover slip, on a hotplate. Next I throw the completed, labeled slide under the microscope camera and take photos like theseYL1304N119-5b.jpg:

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3) I’ve pinned each specimen with a unique ID code that corresponds to its vial ID number.
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The most common genera near as I can tell from the reference collection are…

Male Melissodes sp.
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And Ceratina sp.
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Please leave questions or comments and I’ll do my best to respond!

-Amanda

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