SAND FLY TAXONOMY TUTORIAL

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Section II: WRBU Sand Fly Mounting Protocol

Maceration

The cuticle must be cleared so that all characters are visible when the specimen is mounted. Sand flies can be cleared using a variety of chemicals and it is important to monitor temperature and timing of exposure. Because wings clear quickly and easily crumple as the length of time in NaOH increases, care should be taken to avoid over-clearing. If abdomen is difficult to clear, use a probe to create a small hole, at an angle, where the thorax and abdomen join. Because the head may clear more slowly than the body or wings, it may be necessary to leave the head in the NaOH for an extra 5 to 10 minutes until it is mostly clear and not dark pink. Record clear times for head and body in lab notebook.


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