What magnification power is needed to sex sling exuviums?

Vikingsblood

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I have been kicking around the idea of buying one of the affordable AmScope Microscopes for sexing sling exuviums. I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with this method, and can tell me what magnification power is needed to do this successfully? The options I have been looking at are a 10x-60x model, or a 20x-80x model, both within a few dollars in price. Thanks for any help.
 

Olan

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I would go with the higher magnification. I have access to nice microscopes at work, and will go up to 100x for small molts. 60x would be fine for most molts, but I think you'll appreciate having more magnification with the 80x for smaller specimens.
 

Vikingsblood

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I would go with the higher magnification. I have access to nice microscopes at work, and will go up to 100x for small molts. 60x would be fine for most molts, but I think you'll appreciate having more magnification with the 80x for smaller specimens.
How small of a molt do you think could be reliably sexed at 80x?
 

Olan

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1 or 2" maybe? Could be smaller with species that mature at a smaller size.
 

EulersK

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Up until recently, I was sexing 1" molts with a $10 jeweler's magnifier. That thing only had 20x magnification. I recently bought a $40 200x endoscope, and now I'm sexing molts under 0.5".

Either way, it takes a steady hand and lots of practice unraveling the exuvia.
 

nicodimus22

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Either way, it takes a steady hand and lots of practice unraveling the exuvia.
You ain't kidding. I got a 60-120X hand microscope, and it hasn't done any good. Unraveling molts is just a nightmare for slings under 1 inch. They always fall apart during the process.

It can still be difficult after that, especially if your T tends to tear and mangle it before you get to look at it. *glares at 4 inch unsexed G. pulchripes*
 

Vikingsblood

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You ain't kidding. I got a 60-120X hand microscope, and it hasn't done any good. Unraveling molts is just a nightmare for slings under 1 inch. They always fall apart during the process.

It can still be difficult after that, especially if your T tends to tear and mangle it before you get to look at it. *glares at 4 inch unsexed G. pulchripes*
I feel your frustration there, I've had several "molt chewers" through the years. Sometimes you swear they do it on purpose...beady-eyed devils.
 

EulersK

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You ain't kidding. I got a 60-120X hand microscope, and it hasn't done any good. Unraveling molts is just a nightmare for slings under 1 inch. They always fall apart during the process.

It can still be difficult after that, especially if your T tends to tear and mangle it before you get to look at it. *glares at 4 inch unsexed G. pulchripes*
I forgot who gave me this tip, but use stripped wire to help you unfold the exuvia. I stripped an old twist-tie from a bread package and bent it to remove the sharp end. I use that to unfold and use a sharpened toothpick to hold the exuvia in place while I work.

May have to look into that endoscope, thanks for the link.
No worries, and good luck! Here's an idea of what you can do with this thing :D
1" exuvia

<0.5" exuvia

Just for fun:
 

Vikingsblood

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Now that's pretty impressive, I wasn't expecting anywhere near that kind of clarity for that little cost.
 

Haemus

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I forgot who gave me this tip, but use stripped wire to help you unfold the exuvia. I stripped an old twist-tie from a bread package and bent it to remove the sharp end. I use that to unfold and use a sharpened toothpick to hold the exuvia in place while I work.
*raises hand* :) I find a sharp edge on the wire is actually quite useful on the the <1" molts. Now I fold the wire into small tongs and dull one side on sandpaper, leaving the other sharp for very intricate movements :)
 

EulersK

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Now that's pretty impressive, I wasn't expecting anywhere near that kind of clarity for that little cost.

Forgot to ask, are you running the scope on a phone, laptop, ??
The clarity is great, but color saturation is garbage. Any coloration that you see is my taking it into Photoshop and boosting what little coloration was captured.
This picture was darn near black-and-white when I first took it.

And you can hook it up to either a phone, tablet, or computer. The one that I have has a standard USB and a micro USB attachment (note: no iPhone support, and iOS isn't listed as compatible!). I use my phone just because it's most convenient for me.
 

Vikingsblood

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The clarity is great, but color saturation is garbage. Any coloration that you see is my taking it into Photoshop and boosting what little coloration was captured.
This picture was darn near black-and-white when I first took it.

And you can hook it up to either a phone, tablet, or computer. The one that I have has a standard USB and a micro USB attachment (note: no iPhone support, and iOS isn't listed as compatible!). I use my phone just because it's most convenient for me.
No problem on the color as long as the clarity is there, and my phone is android, I've already checked the compatibility so that's a non issue as well.
 

Ungoliant

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I've had several "molt chewers" through the years. Sometimes you swear they do it on purpose...beady-eyed devils.
The rule of thumb is that if it destroys or buries the exuviae, it's probably male. :troll:

This little dandy incorporated his in his retreat. A day later, the only sign he had molted was the still-visible carapace.
 
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