Thursday, 13 March 2014

Psychoda albipennis

Cleared the Psychoda female from Saturday 8th March in potassium hydroxide for 24 hours and then washed in water.  Transferred to a microscope slide and abdomen removed using mounted needles.  Checked that it was lower surface upwards and then cover slip on top.  Traced it through the key to Psychodidae and keyed easily to Psychoda albipennis.  The shape of the subgenital plate is different from our other species so it should be possible to identify this species again with confidence at reasonably low power using the binocular microscope.  The photos show the whole insect as it would be seen in a water trap sample, the abdomen cleared,  viewed from below and the detail of the subgenital plate under high power.  As an aside saw probably my last redwings of the winter today, a flock of 8 heading northwards.

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