I'm a PhD student at the University of New Orleans interested in looking at parasitoids in small caterpillars, soybean loopers (about the size of an inch worm). The parasitoids are wasps (various species) that lay their eggs inside the parasitoid. The wasp eggs hatch and the wasp undergoes molting and development inside the caterpillar eventually forming a pupae, metamorphosing, and emerging.
I'm looking to make a contact that has experience with the histology of insects that can give me some real assistance in how to process caterpillars through fixing, embedding, sectioning, staining, etc. The only thing I am interested in seeing is where the parasitoids are located in the caterpillar so I don't think I need anything too fancy in the way of special staining.
My University was greatly impacted by Hurricane Katrina and I am having to set up a makeshift histology lab from the ground up. (Actually, everything in New Orleans is being done from the ground up right now.) Basically, all I have right now is a microtome, a histology catalog, and some money to get this started, but I could really use some step-by-step recipies, instructions, and advice! Any help is greatly appreciated. I'll be glad to answer any further questions about my project and thanks in advance.
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