Mr. (Dr?) Shaw left me a comment the other day directing me to some material he wrote regarding finding tardigrades. On his site he wrote an article that is similar to the one I linked in the this post. So on his post I left a comment and he responded. You can find the transcript in that link above, but if you are too lazy to click then I’ll just write it out here:
From me: How many can you typically find in a 10mm by 10mm clump of lichen or moss? Are they plentiful or kinda solitary? Thanks for commenting in my open scientific notebook!
From Mike: You are lucky if you find two or three in any sample. Typically, I would scrape lichen into a small paper coin envelope. I’d make a suspension in bottled or filtered (Aquafina or Poland Spring) water in a plastic petri dish and let it sit overnight. The next day, I could spend maybe 15 minutes going though the sample under the microscope, and if I found even one tardigrade I would consider myself lucky. Often, however I would find two or three, or some eggs. I have had very little luck with moss. It’s got a lot of sand particles to sift through, and moss itself is hard to look through. Like looking through a jungle for a hamster.
The expression is: Your first tardigrade is the hardest to find. Good hunting! Mike