My process, from the field to the identification of water mites. June 2011.

As my way of « working » with waer mite is still evolving, I’d like to explain the way I used in June 2011 and to think to some improvement I can make on this « process ». This process was for exemple used to identify this Unionicola.

  1. Sorting on the field. I use a white pan to see the water mites (their way of swimming help to distinguish them among the other inhabitants of the water).
  2. Taking the pictures. I take between 10 and 30 pictures of each water mite.
  3. In June i was using my freezer to immobilize the water mite and my trinocular magnifier to take the pictures. My magnifier is set to the maximum magnification ratio (my children have broken the know which allow the change of magnification).
  4. For the picture my camera (Panasonic GH1) is set to A (priority aperture), white balance automatic, ASA to 400, use of a trigger cord to reduce the vibration while taking the picture,
  5. When the pictures are taken I release the living mite in my garden pond.
  6. When all the water mites collected are photographed I trasfer the file to my computer.
  7. I use Gthumb (under Ubuntu) to crop and resize the picture (1000 pixel of width)
  8. If a set of pictures seem to allow an identification, I create a new entry in the main category water mites of
  9. Rename the folder with the number of the article
  10. Use the key of Hopkins (for the Hyadracarina of the north of France). Browsing the figures.
  11. In the key of Hopkins, reading of the lines on the corresponding lines.
  12. Confirmation in the Soar & Williamson.
  13. Look in Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  14. Search in Google and Google image.
  15. If some references are missing, i buy the book on abebook.



Step to add to improve this process.

  1. Take more pictures.
  2. Try to always get a lateral view.
  3. Try to vary the lighting to get
  4. Focus specially on the genital area and on a lateral view of the palpi.
  5. Use the macro lens to try to get pictures with more depth of field than with the binocular magnifier. Especially for the larger speccimen.
  6. Check the pictures taken and do a first identification to see if there  may be some importanbt point to catch before releasing the water mite.

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