The aim of this work was to determine the methodology for an adequate conditioning for the cleaning of mealybugs specimens and its correct observation. This work was done in the laboratory of the Research Center in Microscopic Structures (CIEMIC) of the University of Costa Rica, in 2012. Four types of methodologies were implemented, which evidenced a gradual improvement of the observation of the ultrastructures through the Scanning Electron Microscopy. Every process was described in detail. The best results were showed with 10% xylene (in some cases it was feasible using 95-100% ethanol). It allowed to remove the wax from the body of the insect, avoiding its collapse, and observing the specific ultrastructures of the individual. This approach will reduce the time and cost of future taxonomic research of mealybugs.

Keywords: scanning electron microscope, specimen conditioning, ultrastructures.