Kill Bugs Fast

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Thu Oct 1 17:41:15 EDT 1998

> Actually, Ken has reported several times that ethyl acetate is the solvent      
> of choice for de-greasing.

My apologies if I gave anyone _that_ impression. All I claim is that ethyl
acetate will work as a degreaser, and I use it because I have it on hand.
I have no idea which chemical would be 'the solvent of choice'. I have
been able to use ethyl acetate on pinned specimens by total immersion--but
getting the specimen immersed (and de-immersed) without breaking the wings
is a bit tricky.

> I have noticed that my Frits and other large Nymphalids tend to be greasy
> when left in ethyl acetate killing jars for extended periods.

What is an 'extended period'? My 'mass execution' method using the coffee
can to dispatch one's entire daily catch involves leaving the specimens
exposed to the vapor for about an hour, and I have had no greasing problems
with the largest Nymphalids that Alaska can offer. I just looked at some
_N. antiopa_ from 1966--no greasing that I could see. And these have been
in a cabinet with PDB--a fumigating agent which may also be implicated in
the 'greasing' phenomenon.

> Four ounces will last me most of a week.

The coffee can method requires surprisingly little ethyl acetate. A 6-ounce
bottle will last an entire month of active collecting. A few squirts of
a medicine dropper on the sponge is enough--and since you do this only once
a day you get good mileage...

	I rather doubt that ethyl acetate, used as I am using it, is any-
thing to worry about regarding the greasing of butterfly specimens. 

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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