Insects are generally small. The kissing bug adult is approximately 1.5 cm and the flour beetle is about 4 mm. That is why we have a camera with a macrolens, so we can make decent pictures of our research subjects. That works out pretty well for many adult insects, the pictures shown on the home page for example were all made by ourselves.
Insect eggs are even smaller. The eggs of the flour beetle are 0.3 mm long. Even for a macrolens this is too small to get any decent pictures or movies. In our day to day work we do not need to show other people what we are doing, so we simply use a microscope. The one we currently use at the laboratory is a Zeiss Stemi 2000C microscope, which ables us to work even with tiny insect eggs. This includes sorting our flour beetle eggs for our selection experiment, infecting eggs with bacteria but also injecting pupae with double stranded RNA to silence genes (RNAi). For the purpose of science communication we would like to be able to show what we are doing under the microscope. For example, we use a custom 3D printed slide for our egg injections which we would love to show you in action. Luckely, Zeiss sells adapters which can be used to mount our camera (Nikon D3200) on the Stemi 2000C (mounting location at the arrow in the picture above).
However, the adapterset to mount the camera is 750 euro. For that reason we seek funding to buy the adapterset so we can show you the actual work we perform under the microscope.
This will not only able us to show you what we do, but also able us to show other scientist how we do our experiments.