Insect larva before and after mounting in Karo


I brought home some pond water a couple of weeks ago, but in the summer heat, the water turned anaerobic (smelling of H2S) and I hastily took some of the smelly water and to my delight saw this larva. I think it is definitely some Dipteran species, although which one I am not sure. I love its transparency. Are those muscles? What are those two dark circular structures in the gut?  I then made a permanent slide of this in karo. For this, I suspended the larva in GALA20 for 3 minutes and then sandwiched it between a slide and coverslip in Karo (For methodology refer to Walter Dioni’s post). I admit I was a bit impatient and microwaved it for 10 seconds to solidify faster and then sealed the coverslip with nail polish. This is where I thought I’d end my post— but… — read on after the first video

When I examined the slide again, to my utter surprise the larva cleared up even further revealing its interiors. In particular the tracheal network (by which the insect breathes) is well outlined and finally those dark circular structures– WoWWWW! What do you think they are? I think this is a Volvox-like Chlorophyte swallowed by the larva, must have been two of them. Any other ideas about these?

The water sample was also teeming with this flagellate. I wonder if they will transition to an amoeboid stage? Will keep looking. Happy Father’s Day.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    @Laks: What a fantastic post. I really need to try this; since I have been imaging some recent insects that are just straight from alien land. I just imaged a diving beetle, and oh my god – the clarity inside. So I really want to try this permanent slide method.

    If I was to guess, this looks like a mosquito larvae. I see a small spiracle at the end.

    The volvox colony; what a beautiful observation. You caught it during its dinner 🙂


    1. laksiyer says:

      @Manu. I really like the late Walter Dioni’s methods. In fact, I have implemented most of his ideas in my basement. His practical ideas for microscopy always work. Here is a collection of his methods
      Would love to see the insect images. Summer is finally here and so is life all around us. I agree it is some kind of mosquito species caught during dinner.

  2. Manu Prakash says:

    That is a fantastic series of writings Laks. Thanks for bringing these to my attention.


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