Versatile Method for Staining Insect Eggs and Larvae in Leaves

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A technique to stain insect eggs and larvae within leaf tissue is described. The leaves are first treated with modified Carnoy's fixative (ethyl alcohol, chloroform, and glacial acetic acid in 6:4:3 proportion by volume) to remove chlorophyll, and then treated with clearing-staining solution (1:10 solution of 1% aqueous acid fuchsin in a clearing medium [20 g phenol and 5 g chloral hydrate in 100 ml lactic acid]) to stain eggs. Counterstaining is done with 0.1% malachite green in lactic acid. The eggs are stained crimson and plant tissues green. The method is effective in staining eggs of agromyzid flies, Ophiomyia phaseoli (Tryon) and Ophiomyia sp., and cicadellids, Empoasca kerii Pruthi and Amrasca biguttula biguttula Ishida, in their respective host plants. Larvae of O. phaseoli are stained as well. A modification of the procedure allows unstained eggs of O. phaseoli to be observed within ovipositional punctures; leaves are transferred directly from fixative to malachite green and observed under the microscope.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1988

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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