"...mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
Copyright© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits. Scroll down for full copyright notice.
Support this blog by ordering here!
B&H Search Engine Banner
Broken Links? Errors? Goof-ups?Please contact me!
Go ahead, search me…
Need Bug ID?
Help support this site!
Top Posts & Pages
- Adrian on Alberta Oil (Beetle)
- Sean McCann on Alberta Oil (Beetle)
- Adrian on The Week on Sunday #31
- Ted C. MacRae on The Week on Sunday #31
- Adrian on Free eBooks by Jean-Henri Fabre.
- Joanna on Free eBooks by Jean-Henri Fabre.
- Sean McCann on Colin Hutton – The Missing Image
- Adrian on From the Funnel’s Mouth
- Sean McCann on From the Funnel’s Mouth
- Adrian on All eyes, no head…
© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adrian Thysse and 'Splendour Awaits', with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Tag Archives: Edmonton
Last year, based on an oil beetle I photographed in Grasslands National Park, Sask., I jokingly mentioned that the oil beetle should be Alberta’s official insect, because we have so much of the oily stuff. Well, this year I found a wealth of the little beggars strutting around the Halfmoon Lake Natural Area just NNE of Edmonton. I found a female digging a burrow, and she was soon joined by a male, who did absolutely nothing to help prepare the maternity room!
Check out the video below to see some of the behavior I recorded…
Note that all segments in the video above are available at regular frame rates (1920×1080, 30fps) for serious applicants.
◊ Read more on the fascinating lifecycle of oil beetles at a previous post.
After going through eight years of digital photographs, I can see a pattern in the bugs that appear on our garden flowers. With Spring officially in progress (he says with more than a hint of cynicism, one week after shoveling 25 cm of snow off the sidewalks and driveway…) I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the more successful plants that attract bugs to our Zone 3b (or is it Zone 4 now?) garden in Edmonton, Alberta.
The first bug-magnet I want to mention is the Blazing Star or Gayfeather, Liatris spicata (L.) Willd. This perennial is native to grassy areas of eastern North America, favoring moist to average soils on the edges of marshland, mesic prairie and open woodland clearings. In the best conditions it will grow up to 120cm in height, but in our drier sub-urban garden the plant usually only reaches a height of about 60cm. It displays an erect composite flower head, with the individual purple-rose blooms which open from the top down. The leaves are grass-like around the base, with narrow leaflets covering the flower stem.
For those wildflower enthusiasts there are two native species in Alberta: Dotted Blazing Star (Liatris punctata Hook.) and the Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis (A. Nels.) K. Schum.) which you can learn more about from The Home Bug Gardener.
The gallery below is a sampling of some of the visitors to the garden as they make use of Liatris blooms.
The photo is of a specimen I mounted in PVA in 2004. The image was taken through the photo-port of a microscope called Jenamed 2, manufactured in the former East Germany, by Carl Zeiss, Jena. I originally purchased this microscope over 17 years ago, as damaged surplus from a medical lab here in Edmonton. The damaged part was the microscope stage, which had a complicated system of wire, pulleys and ball bearing glides which I have been unable to fully repair, but otherwise the ‘scope is in good condition with a full complement of undamaged objectives and eyepieces. I do want to make the most of this tool, even though there will be limitations due to the lenses, which are planachromats rather than the better corrected planapochromats. I have learned a bit online, but there are still some questions I have about this microscope and how to make best use of it.
First, the objectives and the markings on them:
Planachromat 5x/0.10 ∞/—A
Planachromat+ 10x/0.20 ∞/—A
Planachromat 40x/0.65 ∞/0.17—A
Planachromat Hi 50x/1.0 ∞/0—A
Planachromat Hi 100x/1.3 ∞/0—A
The 5x, 10x etc. indicates the magnification and the number after the first / is the numerical aperture. The ∞ indicates that they are infinity-corrected objectives, and must be used with a particular microscope with a lens in the tube. The HI indicates that they are Homogeneous Immersion objectives, where immersion oil should be placed at the interfaces between the objective front lens and the specimen slide and also between the front lens of the condenser and the underside of the specimen slide.¹.
The /– indicates that the low powered objectives can be used with or without a cover glass on the specimen. On the 50x and 100x, the 0— means (from a response on a web forum) that no cover glass should be used, and the 40x requires a 0.17 mm thick cover glass.
As for the A…
“An A means an objective without chromatic difference of magnification. This objective has to be used with an ocular without chromatic compensation.”
I haven’t quite wrapped my brain around that statement, considering that these are achromats that do not have full chromatic correction, however, the oculars are the original (GF-Pw 10x) wide field eyepieces so that should not be a concern.
So the outstanding questions are:
- what does the “+” on the Planachromat+ 10x mean?
- what does the “Pw” on the ocular mean?
- and would the original phototube (which I do not have) have had any corrective lenses?
Any information on these questions, or any other advice on how to get the most out of this microscope would be appreciated!