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Collecting Techniques

1) The method described below is simple and effective. First construct a Tόllgren funnel. All that is required is a lamp (40W mains is suitable) a funnel with a sieve fitted and a collecting jar. A five inch diameter plastic funnel is suitable, and can be obtained from a kitchen equipment shop, or car accessories shop. The filter, which can be purchased separately or may be included, should have a 1.5 to 2mm mesh. If the mesh is less then this, then open up some of the holes.
For collecting specimens to preserve and mount, then have 70% alcohol + 5% glycerine in the collecting jar. If collecting for live viewing, then just use water, the wax coating of springtails ensures that they will float.
Collect material by scraping, or digging surface soil and leaf litter, preferably moist and containing decaying vegetation. Place the material on the sieve and position the lamp 4 to 5 inches above the surface. The idea is to drive the creatures down into the collecting jar by gradually drying out the soil. Typically leave the lamp on for 12 - 36 hours. Some material will still yield specimens for up to 48 hours.


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• Welcome • The PMS • The Study Group • What are Springtails? • Collecting Techniques • Observation Techniques • Cultures • Identification • Springtails of the Month • Photo Gallery • Correspondence •Related Sites • E-mail • PMS Main Site •