ammonia and moths

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Tue Apr 21 15:59:18 EDT 1998

Jim Steffens wrote:

>Stronger ammonia will work better thand Windex for killing insects.  I use
>it regularly for killing moths.

This reminds me. An older colleague here, upon seeing that some moths
reared in the lab had rather shriveled abdomens, commented that I could
prevent shriveling by injecting them with ammonia. I had never heard that
this was why ammonia was injected into moths, but rather that it was a way
to kill them quickly so as to minimize damage (since large moths, even
after being well-pinched, continue to struggle for some time). I've been
assuming my lab-reared critters had this shriveling problem because I was
killing them before they had fully hardened and started to flap their wings
too much, and doubt anything will help in this case. Has *anyone* ever done
a comparison of specimens injected vs. not, to see if the injected ones
retained their shape better?
Today's rearings, incidentally, were a Syssphinx, a Dinia aeagrus, and a
Callicore eucale. Three very nice leps - and some parasitic Chalcids, as


Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-441-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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