Floscularia Ringens... "another brick in the wall"

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Charles Krebs
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Floscularia Ringens... "another brick in the wall"

Post by Charles Krebs »

The first shot is new from yesterday. It is of a rotifer, Floscularia, These rotifers build beautiful little tubes of perfectly spherical "bricks". If you observe them you can see that they manufacture the bricks in a "socket" in the head. It starts as a small speck and is constantly and rapidly rotated as more and more detritus is added, building it in size. When the brick reaches proper size the rotifer extends up slightly and quickly but carefully attaches the new ball to the top edge of the tube. The video referenced at the bottom shows this behavior.

I have included two older shots to provide some perspective on the configuration of this creature. The head is very elaborate and 3-dimensional, so it can be hard to get your "bearings" just looking at the first shot here, or the video. The red arrow in the second shot indicates the location of the socket where the brick balls are made.




I have not played around with video as much as I thought I would. This is mainly because in order to shoot DIC video with my setup I really need to come up with a different light source. When I am set up for stills with electronic flash, my continuous light source (for focus and looking around) is provided by an LED. It is plenty bright enough for viewing and focusing, but is not really bright enough for me to do DIC video at the ISO and shutter speeds I want. So while I'll be able to do better once I get around to setting up a better light, this video is still pretty interesting simply because it does show the action of creating the brick "ball" as well as the action of adding it to the top of the tube.


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Post by twebster »

Charlie, you continue to blow me away with your abilities and your images! :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

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Post by ralfwagner »


the last picture and, of course, the video are my favorite ones. Thanks for sharing and I hope you will continue to enjoy us with your videos.

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Post by Mitch640 »

Amazingly beautiful images. After watching the video, I think this guy could get a job in the circus, or maybe in a bakery making doughballs. :)

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Post by fpelectronica »

Very nice video and photos
What power is the Led?

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Post by RogelioMoreno »


Nice video, the last picture is amazing.


Marek Mis
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Post by Marek Mis »


Beautiful images ! The last one is breathtaking !


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Post by Ecki »

Very nice indeed!

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Post by arturoag75 »

Imcredible shoots!! :shock:

Tom Jones
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Post by Tom Jones »

Very, very nice Charlie!!!


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Post by Planapo »

Great stuff, Charlie! The footage as well as the still photography.
Did you shoot the video with the 600D?


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Post by gpmatthews »

Wow Charlie - excellent as always!

I haven't seen any Floscularia for a while, but I'll keep a look out - they're always great to watch.

Though we lean upon the same balustrade, the colours of the mountain are different.

Charles Krebs
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

Post by Charles Krebs »

Thanks all!

The videos are with the T3i (600D). The first darkfield "clip" is the only one I'm really satisfied with. This subject was really too "deep" for the 20X and up... lots of spherical aberration. (And there were the high ISO, slow shutter speed issues I referenced above). But since I did actually get the rotifer adding another "brick" I felt seeing this activity was more important than the ultimate in image quality.

Antonio Garrigós Sánchez
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Post by Antonio Garrigós Sánchez »

Wonderful pictures, amazing video very timely and interesting, I've seen more than 10 times and still see some more, see Floscularia work is lovely, as always surprises us with beautiful new images.

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Post by phytoplankton »

Charles, is the 20X an oil immersion lens? Is the spherical aberration because of trying to focus at depth within a sample of lower refractive index (water)? How do you usually combat that effect, just search for specimens close to the cover glass?

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