[Taxacom] dissections slides vs preservation

Chris Grinter cgrinter at gmail.com
Sun Jan 29 17:04:07 CST 2017


I've taken to storing most of my lep dissections in lactic acid. Apparently
Jean-Fran├žois Landry has been using this technique for decades with great
success. It's preferred over glycerin because it does not bind to chitin as
glycerin apparently does over time, it neutralizes the base used to clear
the genitalia, and has a much better refractive index which is better for
photography. I use small shell vials cotton stopped in larger screw-top
vials - which allows for you to quickly browse through dissections as you
could slides.

Chris

** NEW ADDRESS as of Feb 17th **
Christopher C. Grinter

*Collections Manager of Entomology, The California Academy of
SciencesAssistant Secretary & Asst. Treasurer, The Lepidopterists' Society*
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
cgrinter at gmail.com

On Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 3:43 PM, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years, 1987-2017.
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