Letter | Published:

Hints to Workers with the Microscope

Naturevolume 18page141 (1878) | Download Citation



I AM now and have been for the last fortnight enjoying a treat which everyone who possesses a microscope, a slip of glass to lay on the stage, and a piece of thin microscopic glass with a little cotton wool, can enjoy for the price of 1s. Mr. Bolton, formerly of Stourbridge and now of 17, Ann Street, Birmingham, sends me weekly supplies of rotifers, and has just sent me Rhinops vitræa and Hydatina senta in great profusion. With ordinary compressoria and live boxes these are troublesome to see, as they are very lively rovers. To those who may not know the Midland Naturalist or the Microscopic Transactions, I recommend a particular method which I recently sent to those publications.—Take a plane glass slide, on it drop one or more of the rotifers in a drop of water about half-an-inch in diameter, and draw off the surplus water, if any, carefully with the empty pipette. Then fray out a very very small portion of cotton wool (I always use a watchmaker's glass in the eye to do all such operations) until it is much extended, and spread out and lay this on the drop. Upon that lay the thin microscopic glass, the thinner the better, and then set up the capillary attraction by gently touching it with a needle. Draw off any superfluous water from the edges with the pocket-handkerchief and you will have a little wilderness of wool in which the rotifer is restrained in its movements, protected from pressure, and within reach of very high powers. The amount of wool depends on the size of the rotifer. Hyda tina requires more depth than rhinops. The same plan answers equally well for all roving animals. The poduridæ in particular when placed in deep glass cells are easily seen by this apparatus, and it saves many a weary and vexatious five minutes with the compressorium, which, even at the best, requires with living animals extraordinary patience. The rotifers are easily found and secured with the pipette and a watchmaker's glass in the eye after a very little practice. Mr. Bolton's studio is of the greatest value to naturalists and cannot be too well known, for to those who have not time to look for specimens it is a great privilege to be able to purchase them.

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  1. Fort Hall, Bridlington Quay, Yorks

    • F. A. BEDWELL


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