Collecting And Specimen Preparation

Because of their small size and obscure living habitats Diplura are not well represented in most collections. They are, however, easily collected in most ecosystems. The collector needs small vials of ethyl alcohol, a size 00 or 000 camel hair brush, a small tool to turn rocks or pry away bark, and a keen eye. When a rock is turned over, the specimens may be on the underside of the rock or on the soil. They usually begin to move rapidly once exposed and it is necessary to act quickly. The brush is wetted in the vial of alcohol and then touched to the specimen. Usually the specimen will adhere to the brush and can then be transferred to the alcohol vial. Some of the larger Japygidae may be collected using the fingers or a pair of forceps. Once specimens are collected they must be mounted on microscope slides for study and identification.

There is no single source that allows ready identification of Diplura. The sources listed under Further Reading will assist in keying specimens to families and genera and provide a guide to the numerous papers necessary for species identification.

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