310The Soap Collecting Jar
- Jun 4, 2008
This past week I went on a collecting trip and realized that my cyanide jar was near to expiring. Since I usually dump specimens into alcohol or wash all bees caught while net collecting I thought I would just collect them out of the net directly using a small jar of soapy water (in this case something that was similar to a large film canister). I thought it worked well enough that I would pass my observation on to this group, so you can try it too.
What I noticed was that if I filled the jar about half full or a little less with soapy water (using dish washing detergent) that it would form a constant head of suds while riding around in my pants pocket. When I used it in the net it had the great advantage of immediately trapping any insect in the suds and thus I could clean out the net of as many specimens as I wished. With a normal killing jar I could accumulate 2-4 specimens but at some point more would be leaving than going in. This was particularly nice when dealing with large nasty specimens.
I also found that while I had to be a bit more aware of how I carried the jar (water seeking its own level and all that) I can easily lug the jar around and use the jar to directly collect off of flowers without a net.
Like specimens caught in bowl traps, specimens can be readily left in the soapy water for 24-hours and, while a bit soggy, will last for 48 without too much degradation.
So the advantages appear to me to be:
Don't have to lug toxic chemicals around
Soap and water are readily available
Restrains specimens immediately
Can collect all specimens in a net at one time
Inconspicuous to the general public
Pollen and gunk are washed off while in the vial
No pollen analysis
Specimens are wet
Jar needs to be held a bit more upright when open than a normal killing jar
If cap not on correctly the water can leak
Specimens have to be dried prior to pinning
Sam Droege Sam_Droege@...
w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
Yes, the young sparrows
If you treat them tenderly
Thank you with droppings.
P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.
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