Specimen repair etc.

Mark Walker mwalker at aisvt.bfg.com
Fri May 2 10:08:48 EDT 1997

Kenelm wrote:

> I had not mentioned using PDB/chlorochresol in the relaxer to suppress
> mold, but Robert Chehey is indeed correct in pointing that out. One of
> the reasons I maximize the surface area of the water in the relaxer and
> always have a single layer of specimens is to reduce the time that mold
> spores have to grow in the specimens by speeding up the relaxing
> process. Even with PDB in the relaxer, specimens left in too long may
> mold. Also, white and yellow butterflies are prone to developing green
> spots if left too long.

My relaxing chambers are the result of some trial and error, and the final
result is one which at least performs the function satisfactorily. 
However, the whole procedure is a big pain in the butt and my chamber takes
more on the order of 48 hours.  I use a Tupperware container about
8"x4"x2", and put a saturated kitchen sponge in at the bottom, covered by a
layer of cotton, on top of which I place my specimen (single layer).

Not only does this take too long, but the cotton can be a pain as it tends
to get caught on the legs.

Your relaxing chamber is larger still.  Please explain more about the
chamber...  You mention water, but not what is supporting your specimen. 
I'd love to improve my relaxing process, particularly by accelerating it. 
I dislike the procedure so much, that I attempt to freeze my specimen
before they dry (or before they die).  This allows me to spread them right
out of the freezer.  Still, as you well know, it's impossible to
field-spread or freeze every specimen, so the relaxing process is one that
just won't go away.

Appreciate your insight,

Mark Walker
Castleton, VT

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