Preparation of Specimens Problems

Hugh McGuinness hmcguinness at
Fri Apr 4 12:36:38 EDT 2008

Hello Fellow Leppers,

I remember a while ago someone posted about how to de-grease moths. At the
time I was new to preparing specimens and thought it was an odd issue. But
now, I realize that some of my specimens have become greasy, particularly
some Sphingids (especially Paonias), some Cossids (Prionoxystus) and some
Noctuids. I am hoping some members of the two lists could inform me as to
cause (I gather it¹s the leaking of fat from the body), the prevention, and
the cure.

Also I use pinning blocks (with thread) to prepare specimens. I have noticed
that when I remove some of the moths, their wings eventually droop below the
horizontal, which I find aesthetically unappealing. Is there a way to
prevent or reduce this (other than getting myself set up in angled pinning
blocks)? Perhaps by drying more thoroughly (e.g., in an oven)? Do people use
oven drying without adverse effects on the appearance and longevity of the

Thanks, Hugh

Hugh McGuinness
The Ross School
18 Goodfriend Dr.
East Hampton, NY 11937
631 907 5229

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