Barb Beck barb at
Sun Jan 13 18:43:27 EST 2002

On one of my first attempts at relaxing I got things too wet by putting the
things over very hot water.  Got a bluish green color some.  It looked like
the wing got so moist from condensation that soluble pigments dissolved in
the moisture and migrated (like paper chromatography) across them wing.  It
was much like ink separates into components on a wet piece of paper.  These
were done over pure water (well city water anyway) without added chemicals.

Barb Beck

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-leps-l at [mailto:owner-leps-l at]On
Behalf Of Mark Walker
Sent: January 13, 2002 3:45 PM
To: leps-l at
Subject: RE: degreasing

The most serious case of the phenomenon described by Richard Worth that I
have seen occurred on a very large Pierid I caught in Rishikesh, Uttar
Pradesh, India in 2000.  I relax with only water, so Stan's suggestion
wouldn't apply.  The bug was big and white - with black stripes and a slight
bluish tint.  I thought I had spilled ink on the wings at first - the
blue-green staining ran like water colors.  There was significant
condensation in the relaxer, and it was little drops of water that were the
culprits.  I hadn't seen this before - at least not to this extent.  It was
almost as if the bug was painted, and I was ruining the masterpiece with
exposure to water.

I have no idea what chemical is responsible, but the secret is clearly
keeping the specimen away from condensation.

Mark Walker.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stan Gorodenski [mailto:stanlep at]
> Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 10:42 AM
> To: leps-l at
> Subject: Re: degreasing
> Richard Worth wrote:
> >
> > Hey group,
> > Speaking of green coloration, does anyone know what that blue-green
> > staining is that you sometimes get on Pierids when you try to relax
> > them?  I've seen it in both those that were relaxed in glassine
> > envelopes and those not.  I originally thought it was something in
> > the envelopes but maybe not.  I never see it until relaxing begins.
> > Is there a remedy?
> > Cheers,  Rich
> >
> This is just a thought.  If this is something that occurs uniquely to
> certain groups, Pierids, it indicates a chemical difference from other
> butterfly groups.  Maybe the chemical(s) that this group possess (that
> other butterfly groups don't have) react with the fungicide in the
> relaxer, resulting in a compound that gives the blue-green
> color. Change
> the fungicide?  I use PDB, but have not relaxed enough
> pierids to notice
> whether I get a blue-green color.
> Stan
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