The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Imaging insect behavior

An example of the production of scanning electron micrographs of aphids feeding on barley
Rhopalpsiphum padi feeding on barley

Rhopalpsiphum padi feeding on barley

  • Barley leaves with feeding aphids (Rhopalpsiphum padi) attached were attached with the stage clips to the slide holder already attached to the vacuum transfer device for the Oxford Cryotrans System and immediately transferred to the prep chamber under LN2 and frozen using progressive lowering of temperature under vacuum.
  • The frozen hydrated sample was moved from the prep chamber to the SEM chamber (Stage T 196°C) and the accelerating voltage set at 2.5kV.
  • The sample was etched by heating the stage to -100°C for 10 min.
  • Preliminary images were recorded onto Polaroid film and archived using PGTO's Image collection and analysis software.
  • The frozen and etched sample was returned to the prep chamber and sputter-coated with gold for 30 sec, I-10 mAmps at -170°C.