[Taxacom] dissections slides vs preservation

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sun Jan 29 17:10:59 CST 2017


That sounds interesting. I will look into this.

John Grehan

On Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 6:04 PM, Chris Grinter <cgrinter at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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>
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