Foldscope community workshop (@Jasper ridge) Team #3




We went to Searsville lake in Jasper Ridge.

Along the way, we spotted these plant galls.

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It turns out that these galls are outgrowths and in some cases caused due to insects that lay their larvae on the plants. So, we found a young gall, with the hopes of dissecting it and finding a larvae inside (fingers crossed!).


We made a video (below) – but unfortunately we didn’t find any larvaes inside. An interesting observation was the strangely shaped pink (young) gall, with 4 corners – perhaps the corners are to house 4 different larvae ?


We then found a dead organism (perhaps a frog) which had tons of fruit larvae crawling all over it. So we picked a few up and put them in our paper slides.



We saw some beautiful patterns (extremely clear) on the larvae. It turns out (thanks to @manu’s feedback later) that only recently it was discovered that the fly larvae have photoreceptors covering the entire surface. This was published in Nature in 2010. So in a way, the larvae have basic ‘eyes’ all over their bodies.

This to me is pretty cool, because one of the first observations we made while trying to image the fly larvae were that they tried to ‘run’ away (because of the light). And this made it super challenging to image them.




This was the team  – It was really fun working with the high school teachers and the Jasper ridge guide!


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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Beautiful post @Saad.

    I love the live commentary; it’s really great to capture the excitement out in the field when the moment of realization occurs with what you have had hand.

    I would put my bet that it’s a fly larvae. My guess is based on the division of tracheal structures inside the larvae that are clearly visible. I had not thought of seeing fly larvae on dead frogs; but why not.

    A great post from @AaronHardin on fly larvae – see here:

    @AaronHardin: Can you identify this larvae..


  2. Aaron Hardin says:

    Doesn’t look like a melanogaster, too big and the mouth hooks don’t look right. Keep it and see what hatches!!

  3. Manu Prakash says:

    @aaron: great idea. Never thought of this – most likely they are well fed and should hatch.

    @Saad: Do you have the larvae?


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