When a copepod smiles back at you..

A few friends and I have been going back and forth to San Francisco Bay; in the hope of starting larger scale sampling of the bay right here. After a few disappointing starts where we seemed to just get sand and silt (churned by the large ships bringing things into the port); we are now getting better at finding things.

Thibaut and Hongquan did a plankton tow late last night – and I had the pleasure of imaging some of the samples.

I also want to highlight how stable the new foldscope (v2.0) is – so I can record for hours without any focus drift.

After a quick plankton tow; I made a simple glass slide with cover slip with some side barriers (using tape) so the cover slip does not crush the delicate animals inside. I am thrilled with some of the results. Here are a few findings:

I asked a friend on Twitter to identify the species. This is incredible power of engaging globally – and learn from one another. Within 10min I had the ID.

Here are some live videos:

Here is a quick video of the setup


Keep smiling and keep exploring.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Dear @Manu. These are gems. Still trying to wrap my head about those red spots. Could they be symbionts? I shall get back to you on that.

  2. Andrew says:

    @Manu, just started playing with my foldscope and would like to do something similar to this. Two questions for you. First, does a “plankton tow” involve enriching/concentration, or just plain seawater dropped on a slide? Second, in your setup video, it looks like your phone+foldscope is just laying on the table — what’s the light source?


Leave a Reply