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Re-hydrating pinned specimens

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  • Kim McFarland
    I am looking for information on how to re-hydrate pinned specimens. If you have tips on how to soften up bees once they have dried in order to spread mandibles
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 14, 2008
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      I am looking for information on how to re-hydrate pinned specimens.
      If you have tips on how to soften up bees once they have dried in
      order to spread mandibles and pull genitalia to aid in identification
      (without pulling off body parts) please enlighten me. Thanks!

      Kim McFarland
      Humboldt State University
    • Sam Droege
      All: Kim also pointed out that rehydration is not covered in the handy bee manual, so it would be great to have your contributions on this topic directly to
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 14, 2008
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        All:
         
        Kim also pointed out that rehydration is not covered in the handy bee manual, so it would be great to have your contributions on this topic directly to this list and I will summarize them and put them into the manual.
         
        sam


        -----beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com wrote: -----

        To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        From: "Kim McFarland" <megachilidae@...>
        Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        Date: 08/14/2008 05:55PM
        Subject: [beemonitoring] Re-hydrating pinned specimens

        HTML

        I am looking for information on how to re-hydrate pinned specimens.
        If you have tips on how to soften up bees once they have dried in
        order to spread mandibles and pull genitalia to aid in identification
        (without pulling off body parts) please enlighten me. Thanks!

        Kim McFarland
        Humboldt State University



      • Jason Gibbs
        I just take a resealable plastic container put some styrofoam in the bottom to pin the specimen into, add a little water to the bottom (just a tad!), put
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 14, 2008
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          I just take a resealable plastic container put some styrofoam in the bottom to
          pin the specimen into, add a little water to the bottom (just a tad!), put
          whatever specimens I want relaxed inside (you can remove labels if you like to
          avoid them getting soggy), lay a paper towel across the top to absorb excess
          moisture, replace the lid, leave it overnight, and presto! flexible specimens.

          It's wise not to leave them in for more than a day lest they get too damp and
          mouldy.

          If I'm doing dissections on a lot of specimens I'll run two containers in
          parallel so that if the specimens in one container begin to dry out from the
          frequent opening of the lid, I can move to the other specimens without being
          delayed.

          Jason

          --
          PhD Candidate
          Department of Biology
          York University
          4700 Keele St.
          Toronto, Ontario, Canada
          M3J 1P3


          Quoting Sam Droege <sdroege@...>:

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          > All: Kim also pointed out that rehydration is not covered in the
          > handy bee manual, so it would be great to have your contributions on this
          > topic directly to this list and I will summarize them and put them into the
          > manual. sam
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          > -----beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com wrote: -----
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          > To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          > From: "Kim McFarland" <megachilidae@...>
          > Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: 08/14/2008 05:55PM
          > Subject: [beemonitoring] Re-hydrating pinned specimens
          >
          > HTML
          > I am looking for information on how to re-hydrate pinned specimens.
          > If you have tips on how to soften up bees once they have dried in
          > order to spread mandibles and pull genitalia to aid in identification
          > (without pulling off body parts) please enlighten me. Thanks!
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          > Kim McFarland
          > Humboldt State University
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        • Jack Neff
          Perhaps someone has already mentioned this but one normally adds an anti-fungal agent to the relaxing chamber to avoid mold problems. This is particularly
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 18, 2008
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            Perhaps someone has already mentioned this but one normally adds an anti-fungal agent to the relaxing chamber to avoid mold problems. This is particularly important when dealing with larger specimens which may take several days to properly relax. Phenol once was the agent of choice but it has since been abandoned due to its carcinogenic properties. A few drops of ethyl acetate will work with specimens you won't be subjecting to molecular analysis. H. Oldroyd "Collecting, preserving and studying insects; Hutchinson Scientific and Technical, 1958, London" recommends using a few moth balls (PDB or napthalene). I've found a heavy dose of alcohol in the water (rubbing will do) also works. Using warm water to start speeds the relaxing process.
            Its best to open the jaws of megachilids when you pin them since their massive jaw muscles often make it very difficult to open them (and keep the head on or the jaws intact) after they've dried, even with extensive relaxing.

            best

            Jack
            John L. Neff
            Central Texas Melittological Institute
            7307 Running Rope
            Austin,TX 78731 USA
            512-345-7219


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