Kill Bugs Fast

Mark Walker MWalker at
Thu Oct 1 15:46:42 EDT 1998

Actually, Ken has reported several times that ethyl acetate is the solvent
of choice for de-greasing.  Still, I have noticed that my Frits and other
large Nymphalids tend to be greasy when left in ethyl acetate killing jars
for extended periods.  This, and the tendency for induced shock, are two
reasons for my using ethyl acetate only for stunning (and later freezing the
papered Leps that I decide to keep).  It allows me to use much less, and I
can immediately transfer the Leps to envelopes - thus freeing up my
"stunning" jars.  When I go into the field to collect, I typically bring 5
jars:  two small, one medium, one large, and one very large.  I usually only
need the two small ones until a larger specimen necessitates using a larger
one.  This way, I can keep my small jars "charged" all of the time and still
spare my ethyl acetate.  Four ounces will last me most of a week.

I dispatch day flying moths in the same manner, and have yet to see a
problem with oils leaching out at a later date.  For the specimens that have
gotten greasy (from earlier extended killing jar exposure), I have yet to
try immersing them in ethyl acetate.  Being pinned makes this a little
problematic, but I'll have to give it a try some day.

Oh well, back to work.

Mark Walker.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	jrg13 at [SMTP:jrg13 at]
> Sent:	Thursday, October 01, 1998 9:02 AM
> To:	leps-l at
> Subject:	Re: Kill Bugs Fast
> 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).
> John Grehan
> >
> >        I have found ethyl acetate to be an excellent killing fluid for
> >butterflies. It's comparatively harmless to humans, and I have never had
> >any subsequent trouble spreading specimens. Just don't spill any on your
> >camera, or antique dining room table...
> >
> >                                                        Ken Philip
> >fnkwp at

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