Kill Bugs Fast

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Thu Oct 1 14:52:13 EDT 1998

> I presume that there has been no problem with leakage of oils in
> butterflies as may occur with many moth species killed by ethyl acetate
> (sometimes the problem does not occur until many years later).

	In approximately 1966 I switched from cyanide to ethyl acetate as
my main killing agent for butterflies. I have seen no increase in the
outgreasing problem since that shift. Some species are liable to this,
and it will happen whether they are killed with cynanide or ethyl acetate.
SInce ethyl acetate can also be used for degreasing such specimens, it's
useful stuff to have around.

	When ethyl acetate is used as a killing agent, the specimens are
exposed to the vapor _only_, not to the liquid. I use a coffee can, with
some paper towels in the bottom to soak up any condensate, and a small
piece of sponge pinned to the underside of the lid. A little ethyl acetate
is poured onto the sponge--and the specimens are placed in the can in their
glassine envelopes. (In the field I pinch specimens and place them directly
into glassine envelopes, which I carry in Sucrets boxes--since no Alaskan
butterfly is too large to go in a #1 glassine envelope, which fits nicely
into a Sucrets box.)

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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