Microscope Flea Lab (chapter 14) - Science Probe 10

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Aim: To look at a cat flea and a honeybee under a microscope and draw what is seen.

Materials: Compound microscope, microscope diagram handout, prepared slides of cat flea and honeybee.

Prediction: I predict that it will be relatively simple to set up the microscope and view the flea and honeybee, but not easy to draw the flea and honeybee picture.


1. Collect microscope from trolley.

2. Set up microscope and switch on the microscope light.

3. Collect cat flea slide and place under microscope lens, view at medium power.

4. Sketch flea in pencil (1/2 or full page size) and label cat flea from the overhead sheet.

5. Return flea slide and collect honeybee head slide, place under microscope lens and view at low power.

6. Sketch honeybee in pencil (1/2 or full page size) and label the picture from the overhead sheet.

7. Examine honeybee head under medium power.

8. Return honeybee slide and pack up and return microscope.

Observations: I found that the microscope was set up quite easily and I had little trouble figuring out what to do, thanks to the diagram sheet. I first drew a couple of rough drafts of the flea before doing my good copy. I do not think that it is a very good drawing, but it was the best that I could do.

The honeybee was a little bit harder to draw, because I could not see all of it clearly at once, but I did get it drawn.

Conclusion: I think that this experiment was a very good way to show how to view things with a microscope.


1. You do not need a microscope to view a flea, just to view one up close.

2. There is only one way traffic in the lab to prevent collisions which could damage the equipment.

3. You should always carry a microscope with two hands to avoid dropping it.

4. You can adjust the amount of light that enters the microscope by adjusting the adjustable condenser.

5. When you put the flea upside down under the microscope, it appears to be facing the right way.

6. The honeybee was harder then the flea to focus because the slide is thicker on the honeybee.


a) The high power lens has the least depth of field because it is zoomed in more.

b) The honeybee required more depth of field because it is bigger that the cat flea.

8. On both slides, there are little hairs all over the specimen, which you cannot see with the naked eye. On the honeybee, you can see all of the different parts of the mouth, as well as its compound eyes. On the flea you can see the legs and you can also see the eggs.

9. The flea does not have wings, but it makes up for that with its powerful jumping legs.

10. The flea is flat because it allows it to move very quickly through the cat's fur and it cannot be caught.