I have taken a lovely photograph of my red blood cells (see image attached). I was wondering what the structures I have circled are? My guess is white blood cells, but I would love to know for sure!

Thanks in advance :)

p.s. apologies for unstained faint image! any recommendations for a good stain for these guys?

Post's pictures

red blood cells .jpg, 261.31 kb, 1600 x 1200


Thank you for sharing this neat picture. It is difficult to identify cells without the right staining which may be why we have been slow to answer your question.

Some advice on stains is here:


The cells circled, although not clear, may show red blood cells with basophilic stippling which is often normal variation. The stippling refers to the ribosomes (dots) seen, which are the protein-making factories in cells.

If you have any symptoms of illness, it is best to discuss a blood film in clinical context with your own doctor. I hope you are well and keep enjoying such microscopy.

Best wishes,


I agree with Nick, the staining of this prep does not allow for clear identification of some cells. Many of the apparent RBCs appear to have a 'bioconcave' morphology as expected. The circled cells, if RBCs, could be immature, as what Nick describes as ribosomes are usually lost in mature RBCs - so these cells could be WBCs but it is not clear (if I look long enough, especially at the bottom one, they almost look like some of the cells without 'stippling!!; if I look again it seems that they are different)!

Last edited by Steve Lolait (14th Feb 2016 10:36:55)