The Baermann filter method is a long-standing, simple technique for recovering nematodes from soil and charcoal coprocultures. Material containing the nematodes is placed on a mesh screen lined with several layers of tissue paper or cheesecloth, and the screen is placed in the mouth of the funnel. Rubber tubing attached to the funnel stem is clamped, and water is added to submerge the material. The filtration material allows the nematodes to swim through while holding back the substrate. Over time the nematodes settle at the clamp in the tubing. After several hours, the clamp is opened and water containing the nematodes is collected. Although recovery of the nematodes is efficient, they are often contaminated with soil or charcoal debris, requiring a secondary cleaning by sedimentation or filtration. Described here is a small, simplified version of the Baermann apparatus that can be used as a secondary cleaning device. The “mini-Baermann” is constructed from materials commonly found in the laboratory. Experiments using infective larvae of 3 nematode species demonstrated that the majority of the larvae applied to the device are collected within 2 hr, and nearly all by 4 hr. Dead larvae fail to pass through the filter and do not significantly impact the passage of living larvae. In addition to removing debris from nematode suspensions, this device can rapidly and efficiently separate living, motile larvae from dead larvae.

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