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HAMES Laboratory Method:
Wet Mount Preparation of Gills for Microscopy

Materials and Equipment

  1. Clean glass slides
  2. Cover slips: 22x30 mm
  3. Paper towels
  4. Forceps
  5. Dissecting scissors
  6. Surgical or single edge razor blade
  7. 0.95 saline solution
  8. Pipettes
  9. Compound microscope
  10. Paper and pencil to record observations



Remove a glass slide and cover slip and wipe clean with a towel if moist or dirty. Lift the gill cover and clip with the scissors the outer (distal) one half of three to five gill filaments. Carefully remove these with the forceps and place on the clean glass slides. With the pipette add a drop or two of saline solution and cover with a cover slip. If air bubbles surround the gill filaments add additional saline along the edge of the coverslip until most of the trapped air is displaced. Wipe excess saline from around the borders of the coverslip. Place side on the stage of the microscope and examined under low, medium and high dry power for ectoparasites and/or obvious structural abnormalities.

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