Sunday, September 14, 2008

Specimen Preservation-Larvae

Larvae of most insects should be collected in alcohol and subsequently killed in boiling water to “fix” their proteins and prevent them from turning black. Larvae should be left in hot water for 1-5 minutes, depending on the size of the specimens, then transferred to 70-80 percent alcohol. Large specimens or small specimens that have been crowded into one vial should be transferred to fresh alcohol within a day or two to reduce the danger of diluting the alcohol with body fluids. If the alcohol becomes too diluted, the specimens will begin to decompose. Water is not a preservative

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