Light traps, ethel Acetate and greasy specimens

Leptraps at Leptraps at
Sat Apr 22 19:44:33 EDT 2000

Kurt Jacob's stated:

In the case of a collecting light trap, the overexposure of ethyl acetate
would be nearly impossible to avoid.  My experience tells me that if a
specimen in a killing jar becomes wet looking with ethyl acetate, it has a
great chance to remain very dark, once again become very dark due to the
oils in the moth, have matted out hair, and even sometimes look slightly
bleached.  Supposedly soaking specimens in acetone for a few hours will
remove oils, but my tinkering with this technique have shown a reduction in
brightness of color of the scales on the wings.

I have used Ethel Acetate for over twenty years in light traps. I have had 
the typical greasing of specimens in my collection. Some from light traps, 
and some from a sheet that were killed in cyanide jars. The greasing of 
specimens is cause by body fats in the specimens. Whenever I degrease 
specimens, I have use ether, with lit or no effect on the specimens. This 
includes females of Speyeria diana.

I am not a salesman for Ethel Acetate, I would prefer to use are more 
effective chemical and one that is not as flammable. A small spark can start 
a fire or explosion.  However, Ethel Acetate is available and cost effective 
for me. I am also very careful when I use it.

Leroy C. Koehn
6085 Wedgewood Village Circle
Lake Worth, FL 33463-7371
Hm: 561-966-1655
Cell: 561-301-4215
E-mail: Leptraps at

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