Antonio Berlese

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Antonio Berlese

Antonio Berlese (born June 26, 1863 in Padua , † October 24, 1927 in Florence ) was an Italian entomologist .

Berlese mainly investigated the pests on fruit trees . He published over 300 articles and the book Gli insetti loro organizzazione, sviluppo, abitudini e rapporti con l'uomo (in two volumes, 1904 and 1923).

Reading funnel

Berlese invented the Berles funnel, a widely used device for automatically reading out soil insects and other soil organisms .

A funnel (E) contains the soil sample (D). The heat (F) of a light bulb (G) heats the soil sample. The bottom organisms try to escape the dehydration and the light and migrate downwards. Finally, they fall through a filter (C) into the collecting container (B) filled with a preservation liquid (A).

The storage of the soil substrate sample (D) is only shown schematically in the picture on the left: In general, the sample is not crumbled and poured into the funnel, but rather placed as a whole on a sieve base, which is intended to reduce the proportion of soil substrate in the collecting vessel (B).

This type of extraction is usually referred to as a Berlese or Tullgren funnel after the first description. In 1905 Berlese described the funnel method with heating through a warm water jacket , Albert Tullgren introduced heating from above with an incandescent lamp in 1918. Since expulsion under an incandescent lamp has largely prevailed, the apparatus is now known as the Berlese-Tullgren funnel.

According to Berlese, a type of water-containing embedding media for the microscopic examination of small arthropods is named, which, apart from the usual proportion of chloral hydrate and gum arabic , is characterized by the lack of glycerine , which is replaced here by acetic acid and glucose . According to more recent studies, however, Berlese did not use this type, but a glycerine-containing medium according to Hoyer for his microscopic preparations .

Individual evidence

  1. Obituary in the pest science indicator. Volume 3, No. 12, December 1927, p. 135.
  2. ^ European Association of Acarologists: Acarid Phylogeny and Evolution: Adaptation in Mites and Ticks. Springer Netherlands, 2002, ISBN 1-4020-0465-6 .
  3. Antonio Berlese: Apparecchio per raccogliere presto ed in gran numero piccoli Artropodi. In: Redia. Vol. 2, 1905, pp. 85-90.
  4. Irwin M. Newell: An Autosegregator for Use in Collecting Soil-Inhabiting Arthropods. In: Transactions of the American Microscopical Society. Vol. 74, No. 4, Oct 1955, pp. 389-392. JSTOR 3224174
  5. Albert Tullgren: A very simple read-out device for terricole animal faunas. In: Journal of Applied Entomology. Vol. 4, 1918, pp. 149-150.
  6. MS Upton: Aqueous gum-chloral slide mounting media, an historical review. In: Bulletin of Entomological Research. vol. 83, 1993, pp. 267-274.
  7. ^ HF Hoyer: Contributions to histological technology. 3. Inclusion liquids. In: Biological Zentralblatt. vol. 2, 1882, pp. 23-24.
  8. M. Castagnoli, F. Pegazzano: Catalog of the Berlese Acaroteca. Istituto Sperimentale per la Zoologica Agraria, 1985, pp. V-vi.


  • W. Dunger: Animals in the soil. 4th edition. Westarp Sciences, 2008, ISBN 978-3-89432-424-7 .
  • W. Dunger, HJ Fiedler: Methods of soil biology. 2nd Edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 1997, ISBN 3-8274-0870-9 .

Web links

Commons : Antonio Berlese  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files