We’re making our own Berlese fluid!

Since 2014, I’ve been using commercially available Euparal and Berlese fluid to slide mount phorid specimens. But lately the solutions were becoming more expensive and the import of Euparal to Malaysia has been restricted. The only alternative that we have is to prepare our own mounting medium.

Disney (1994) suggested Berlese fluid as alternative to Euparal because it is less ‘tacky’. I’ve been introduced to this mounting medium went I visited Disney in late 2014 and found it was easier to use but it must be topped up regularly because the layer was thinner than Euparal. But Euparal dried faster than Berlese fluid so I had to work with the specimen faster. Overall, the quality of Berlese is better than Euparal.

Yesterday, my assistant science officer (Balkhis) and I tried to prepare the mounting medium as recommended by Disney (1994). We used the following formula:

-Gum arabic 12g
-Chloral hydrate crystals 20g
-Glacial acetic acid 5ml
-50% w/w glucose syrup 5ml
-Distilled water 30-40ml

For gum arabic, we used the one in the picture. The texture is finer than the normal lumps sold at markets making it easier to prepare. The only thing that we need to be cautious is the amount of glucose syrup. Too much glucose will produce granules in the medium.

We have tested on phorid specimens and will check the result after 2 weeks to see if the quality of the slight satisfactory.


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