[Taxacom] dissections slides vs preservation

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sun Jan 29 15:43:38 CST 2017


Thanks to all for the observations. It seems that it is up to me to make
the case to the institutions involved for the particular type of
preservation I prefer.

John Grehan

On Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 3:32 PM, Tony Irwin <tony.irwin at btinternet.com>
wrote:

> I would agree with everything that Doug says, but would caution against the
> use of gel-caps, except for temporary storage. Recently we were
> transferring some specimens with 20-year-old gel caps, and noticed that
> they had become very fragile, with several shattering during the transfer.
> As a relatively cheap alternative, plastic microcentrifuge tubes (Eppendorf
> type, with caps attached by a plastic strap) can be used. A pin is pushed
> through a small piece of plastic foam, and the tube snapped shut, with the
> strap securely held around the foam on the pin. (It is also much easier to
> access the contents!)
> Tony
>
> Dr A.G.Irwin
> 47 The Avenues
> Norwich
> Norfolk NR2 3PH
> England
>
> mobile: +44(0)7880707834
> phone: +44(0)1603 453524
>
> On 29 January 2017 at 19:04, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:
>
> > Speaking as a museum curator, what I have seen done varies among taxa:
> (1)
> > for medium to large things with well-sclerotized internal genitalia, such
> > as bees, wasps, and beetles, the genital capsules and sometimes
> associated
> > sternites are often removed and point- or card-mounted with the specimen,
> > or placed in a gel-cap. (2) for medium to large things with partially to
> > mostly membranous genitalia, such as spiders, leps and certain
> hemipterans
> > and flies, vials with glycerin seem to be the method of choice. (3) for
> > small things, slide mounts are most common, but some meticulous folks
> make
> > tiny point mounts or use tiny vials (with or without glycerin); clearly
> > subject to personal curatorial preference. (4) groups with mostly
> external
> > (or easily-everted) genitalia are often simply mounted with the genitalia
> > very slightly spread and allowed to dry in that position for visibility.
> > (5) in the occasional cases I've seen where an abdomen had to be removed,
> > if it is large, it is glued to a card mount and pinned along with the
> > specimen, and if it is small, it typically goes into a vial along with
> the
> > genitalia.
> >
> > I've seen literally millions of specimens, in dozens of museums
> worldwide,
> > and can't really recall any other techniques I've seen employed for
> > long-term preservation.
> >
> > I will note that at least a few recent papers I've seen have links to 3D
> > scans of genitalia, which promises to be a really helpful tool if it
> > becomes a common technique, and could help reduce the necessity for
> > physical preservation of genitalic preparations.
> >
> > Peace,
> >
> > --
> > Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
> > Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
> > phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
> >              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
> >   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
> >         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
> >
> >
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