req: relaxing pointers

Alexei G. Belik belik at
Tue May 19 06:47:33 EDT 1998

Hi, Dave!

I do relaxing my butterfly specimens by water
This old-fashioned technique gives pretty good

For this aim I do using the special chemical jar
"exicator". Chemists use it for the storage of the
chemicals. Any other jar with the hermetically
cover would be OK, but then you will need to
invent some
improvement (a kind of grill to place it above the
layer of the
water on the bottom of the jar). NB that the
insect specimens
SHOULD NOT have the direct contact with the water.

I do boil some water, pour hot boiled water
onto the bottom of the exicator, place the grill
butterflies above the water and neatly close the
jar with its
cover. After ca. 24 hours small and
specimes are relaxed and ready for the spreading.
For big fat
moths the procedure should be repeated - they need
longer time
for the relaxing.

WARNING: do not use HOT water for the relaxing of
those species,
coloration of which might bleach. This concerns to
near all Pieridae
and all moths, which have GREEN colors. Relax such
species only
with cold water wapors.

Hoping this is of some help for you and also might
be of interest for other
novice lepidopterists who reads this LEPS-L.

Alexei Belik
Alexei G. Belik
Saratov, Russia
e-mail: belik at

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