Molluscan Research 27(1):
1-50; published 30 May 2007
Copyright © The
Malacological Society of Australasia
Techniques for collecting, handling, preparing, storing and
examining small molluscan
DANIEL L. GEIGER 1 , BRUCE
A. MARSHALL 2 , WINSTON F. PONDER 3 , TAKENORI SASAKI 4 & ANDERS
1 Santa Barbara
Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara, CA
93105, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, P.O. Box 467, 169 Tory
Street, Wellington, New Zealand. Email: email@example.com.
3 Australian Museum Sydney, 6 College Street, Sydney NSW 2010,
Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku,
Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. Email: email@example.com.
5 Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural
History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden. Email:
small-sized molluscs (< 5 mm), and include the great majority of
undescribed molluscan taxa. Such species require
special collecting, sorting and handling techniques and different
storage requirements to those routinely used for larger specimens.
Similarly, the preparation of shells, opercula, radulae and animals
poses some challenges for scanning electron microscopy
(SEM). An overview of experiences with various techniques is
presented, both positive and negative. Issues discussed include
those relating to storage of dry specimens and interaction of
specimens with glass, gelatine and paper products, handling
techniques and storage in various fluids. Techniques for cleaning
shells for SEM are described and compared, as well as
those for radular extraction. The interactions of chemicals used for
the dissolution of tissue with calcareous micromolluscs are
described. Methods for handling and mounting small radulae for SEM are
detailed and brief guides to SEM and light photography are
given. An appendix listing details of frequently-used chemicals is
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