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 Dissected Epigyne   - Trachelas tranquillus - female

Dissected Epigyne - Trachelas tranquillus - Female
Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
March 30, 2010
The 'inside' view with the abdomen above removed.

This is my first attempt to dissect an epigyne. The spider was in alcohol for almost 5 months.

Images of this individual: tag all
Epigyne  - Trachelas tranquillus - female Epigyne at higher magnification  - Trachelas tranquillus - female Eye arrangement at higher magnification  - Trachelas tranquillus - female  Dissected Epigyne   - Trachelas tranquillus - female

> This is my first attempt to dissect an epigyne

I almost forgot: Glückwünsch! Or as the Rennrad guys and gals say, "Respekt!"


who are the Rennrad guys and gals?

In addition to looking out fo
In addition to looking out for spiders I also (used to) regularly ride my bike (Rennrad). But I don't know if this is something that just sports-types say, or if it can be applied to other situations in life.


Nicely done! Did you use a
Nicely done!

Did you use a clearing agent?


Thanks Kevin,
I do not have access to a clearing agent. They are rather unhealthy but would probably remove the haze. Maybe 100% isopropanol would also work. I will look for it in drugstores.

You didn't need to here -- looks pretty good to me.

I've used an enzymatic contact lens cleaner a few times -- with good results in my opinion: "Boston One-Step Liquid Enzymatic Cleaner". This was on a recommendation that came from the Denver Museum of Natural History (if I remember correctly). These are not inexpensive, but you only need a single [oops, missing word.. "drop"] per specimen.

I would avoid the isopropanol -- the fumes used to make a colleague sleepy, he claimed.


Thanks for the tip
I made a note of it for the next time. How long do you approximately expose the specimen to the enzymatic cleaner? Probably depends on the size of the specimen.

It seems to go pretty quickly
It seems to go pretty quickly in most cases. I simply place a drop of the cleaner in a clean glass specimen container (Blockschale -- I don't know what the English word is -- a small block of glass with a circular depression in it), add the epigyne and place everything under the microscope. Seems to not take much more than a minute or so. I don't know if it's the best solution, but it seems to clear up quite a bit of the cloudy tissue.


Agree about isopropanol
I agree about the isopropanol. I used to examine specimens immersed in 70% iso, but stopped using it for that purpose after Robert Holmberg told me the fumes are poisonous. I switched to using ethanol and not only does it smell better, but the headaches I occasionally got while working on specimens disappeared. Now I can work for hours with no problem - except that the ethanol doesn't cure the crink in my neck that I sometimes get from leaning over the scope. :)

is readily available although I have not inquired about denatured ethanol in a pharmacy. I did not notice any ill effects from isopropanol because I used a very small quantity and was exposed to it for a short period of time. My eyes are very sensitive to clearing agents like xylene, methylbezoate, etc. Those I could only handle in a fume hood. You are right, alcohol does not dissolve tissues it only removes water and then the clearing agents render the specimen translucent or even nearly transparent. I have only experience with mammalian tissues and arthropod tissues probably require different methods.
I know about the crink in the neck. I my case the crink was in the whole back.

Nicely done! Lots of clear detail can be seen in this dorsal view.

I linked two of your epigyne pictures to the species info page: here

Thanks John!
I was not sure if I should call it 'dorsal view'.

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