Relaxing papered leps

Laura S. Voigt "voigt at" at
Tue Aug 19 00:32:38 EDT 1997

Leino Oli wrote:
>   Howdy,
> I was hoping to get peoples tips on relaxing papered specimens.  I'm trying
to use a 'relaxing chamber' which is a rubermaid container with a soaked sponge
on a little plate.  I'm not having any luck at all.  I've also heard about
injecting warm water.
> If anyone can give me some input, or has first hand experience, please let me
know as I would like to start ordering some tropical species for display cases,
(No, not any endangered species!) plus emptying out some of the ones in my
> I'm used to raising my own stock and then mounting imediately while they're
> Many thanks,
> Leino
> estoboy at

 Years ago in college entomology class, we used a covered glass bowl
with phenol crystals near the bottom, overlaid with wet sand, and a
blotter at the top.  Phenol, however, is very dangerous to get on the
skin.  It makes permanent sores!  You are using papered, dried
specimens.  I don't know if they have made improvements in the relaxing
jar. Problem, of course, is mold.
 With fresh specimens, I used a tight jar, glass or polyethylene would
do fine, and laid a folded paper tissue with acetone, and layered my
specimens neatly, with labels in pencil, in paper tissue above.  Nail
polish remover can be used, if a small amount of oil would be no
problem.  -  I have done alot of collecting throughout college, but with
raising a family etc., I didn't keep moth balls in my boxes of mounted
insects, and I lost a couple fine collections.  I had general
collections, but later I specialized more in beetles.  Thinking about
insects, it almost makes me want to start all over again!
  Butterflies, I found people get the best specimens by raising the
butterlies from the early stages.  So when the butterlies, and moths,
emerge, they are in their must perfect state, undamaged by the elements
and collecting.  They can be shipped in the early stages.
  Laura Voigt

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