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The scanning electron microscope (SEM) has been used to detail the morphology of small insects; however, it is often difficult for the novice to obtain acceptable results without time-consuming and costly experimentation. This brief paper outlines some of the techniques and problems encountered in an examination of the balsam bark beetle Pityokteines sparsus (Le Conte ) and the hymenopterous parasitoid Brachymeria intermedia (Nees). The information presented herein is mainly for the benefit of individuals wishing to use the SEM but having little or no experience concerning the special problems associated with the photography of insect specimens, and may form a base from which reasonable results can be obtained after limited experimentation.
Life Sciences and Agriculture Experiment Station
electron microscopy, insects
Hosking, G.P., N.P. Kutscha, and F.B. Knight. 1976. Scanning electron microscopy of insects: Techniques for the novice. Life Sciences and Agriculture Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 80.