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Shipping Specimens - dry mounted

Shipping Instructions and Documentation

 for Dry or Slide Mounted Specimens


Preferably slide-mounted specimens (Chironomidae, Oligochaeta, others) should be shipped in standard 25-place (compression/'nest' closure, taped) or 100-place slide boxes (preferably those with metal clasps rather than softer plastic 'moulded lip closure flap').  In each case (small and large slide boxes), there should be a thin paper, foam, or cork underlayment of the slides (usually incorporated into the 100-place slide box when purchased); after slides are placed in the slide box, a paper towel (double thickness, cut to size) placed over the top of the slides prior to closure.  This packing procedure will greatly reduce/eliminate the 'rattling around' of slides during bumps encountered throughout the shipping process. ALL slide boxes should be taped shut; use of 3-inch (8 cm) lengths of plastic electrical tape (with minimal stretch when applying) that will adequately hold the boxes shut during transit; do not use duct tape, 'magic' or regular office tape, masking tape, or removable office tape.

No more that one or two specimens, and OF THE SAME taxon, should be mounted under a single cover slip on any slide; no more than one cover slip per slide, and it should be centered on the slide.

cover slip recommendations:  #0-#1 thickness, round or square (18mm-22mm); Gold Seal slides and cover slips preferred (always cleaner out of the box than those from other manufacturers). A larger cover slip (e.g., 22 x 30 mm) may be used for particularly long oligochaetes (aquatic megadriles, Haplotaxidae, Branchiura sowerbyi).

Please indicate the following information with your slide-mounted specimens (by slide code number, and for each box, with the following information printed on a sheet of paper):

a) abbreviated processing and mounting procedure for each slide - especially whether or not a tissue dye (e.g., Rose Bengal) was used during sorting;

b) whether or not a tissue stain was used during slide preparation (and that abbreviated process, if applicable);

c) what kind of clearing agent, if any, was used during the mounting procedure; since some mountants include a clearing agent, that should be clearly noted with the information associated with the mountant you indicate was used;

d) what kind of mountant was used (e.g., CMC-xx, Permount, AquaMount, ClearMount, Canada balsam; under no circumstances should temporary-mount specimens (viz, those mounted in Ammans lactophenol) be considered for use / sent on slides using that fluid;

e) cover slip ringed??? and with what???

f) approximate date the mount was completed (day, month, year); use your professional judgement regarding the curing time of the mount needed, prior to packaging and shipping, to assure that the mounts will not slip around / off of the slide (this is especially critical, given the time invested in collecting, preparing, and mounting that specimen, and the time and cost of shipping/receiving the specimens); note that all mountants recede during the curing process; it is particularly critical to view the new mounts..each day, and add one or more drops of the mountant, as needed, to fill the receded areas.

g)  indicate which of the taxa can be identified ONLY by using  oil immersion (1000x) magnification.


Please check with TCP coordinator prior to preparing slides for, and shipping them to the TCP offices; specifically, communicate with the coordinator to assure that no modifications in the above procedure have been made (but not posted via the website), and especially to ascertain the required numbering system and procedure (e.g., permanent marker pen, label) to be used with slide-mounted test specimens being submitted for consideration.

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