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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Encyclop'Aphid : l'encyclopédie des pucerons


How to collect aphid mummies, extract the adult parasitoids and preserve them

Material :

  • screw-top jar (with vented stopper if possible)
  • micro tubes (Eppendorf type with screw stopper and seal if possible)  filled with:
  1. -         95% ethanol for specimens taken for analysis by molecular biology techniques
  2. -         70% ethanol for specimens destined for collection.
  • plastic bags
  • adhesive labels and pencil
  • freezer bag and ice packs
  • scissors, mouth aspirator, tweezers, fine paintbrush, cotton wool


In the field :

1-     Collect the mummies by cutting the plant material around them in order to keep their support and thus avoid damaging them.

2-     Place the mummies fixed on their support in  a screw-top jar and put the jar in a plastic bag .

3-     Identify or keep the host plant in the same bag.

4-     Identify or, using the paintbrush, pick up the aphids present around or nearest to the mummy; if possible choose alates and some apterous adults. Preserve them alive or in 70 or 95% ethanol depending on the objectives (rearing, photos, collection or analysis). Put them in the same bag.

5-     Identify the bag by labeling with a pencil giving the locality, date, host plant and any other useful information.

6-     Place the whole preparation in the freezer. To avoid crushing the plant, you can inflate the bag with air and then firmly tie it up.


In the laboratory :

1-     Cut around the mummy to keep a minimum of plant material.

2-     Put each mummy individually on its support in a dry microtube.

3-     Do not close up the microtube with its stopper but with cotton wool to allow gas exchange.

4-     After the adults emerge (2-3 days in general but sometimes several weeks) wait several hours (even until the next day) before putting everything in 95% or 70% ethanol.

Close up the microtube with its sealing stopper with a view to identifying the specimen at a later date.