Thread subject: :: Greasy specimens

Posted by Eric Fisher on 23-04-2011 20:11

Asilidae also get 'greasy' quite often (but pantophthalmids are the worst!). My cure is to submerge the specimen in acetone for several days. The easiest way to do this is to use a wide-mouth jar with some poly foam tightly forced into the bottom of the jar (to act as a substrate for the insect pin). Place enough acetone in the jar to cover the pinned fly. Upon removal, the specimen will quickly dry and, with luck, will be grease-free. Hairy specimens may need to be 'blow-dried' while drying, to 'fluff' them -- to prevent matted hair (most flies do not need this precaution). Some inks and laser-print labels will run in acetone, others not; use caution. Some plastic (nylon?) -headed pins react (loose their heads!) when fully submerged in acetone for days; use caution (try to keep the pin head above the fluid level).

Many other organic solvents, etc. will serve as degreasing agents but acetone seems the best (safest and yet still works...).