Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I need advice on hydrating the wings of saturniids. I've done this many times before without any difficulty but I have an individual (Atlas moth) who is especially rigid. It's been sitting in a hydrating chamber for weeks. Should I just inject water into the thorax or are there any other methods for more effective hydration of the wing muscles? I really don't want to mess up this specimen. Thanks, Robin
inject 2-3 drops of ammoniaque in the thorax and wait about 1 hour; (do it only after having put it in an" hydrating chamber" at leat one day.) If it doesn't work, may be it has been killed badly (like with formol) and you will never get it soft as you want.
" It's been sitting in a hydrating chamber for weeks" be careful that the wings don't take water
s'il n'y pas de solution c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème ! akuna matata ....
First, check out past post in the old Forum on this topic.
Second, if you have had it in the softener for two weeks, surely do no more, for it is indeed likely to mold....if it hasn't already.
Here-----take out the specimen from the chamber and take a hypodermic syringe/needle and inject Gin into the ventral head area of the thorax until the Gin leaks out the spiracles. Then wait a few minutes and inject again. Gently paint the Gin with a brush on the exterior spots on the underside where the wing meets the body. wait a few, then gently work the wings slowly apart. If you feel it is still too stiff, then re-do what I've said. Gin works really well
I have used window cleaner in the past but it is a bad idea. Those fluids always have color pigments in them to get their fancy color and I have messed up a few butterflies which turned blue after relaxing them with blue window cleaner. Anybody wants a blue Graphium androcles? *joke*
The method Ive used, tried and true for over 15 years is very similar to the other replies here, but Ive found is much faster than most and in the case of injection safer.
I wrap my chamber in a heating pad at low to medium heat, then wrap in a sweatshirt of sorts to keep the heat in. Of course you still need the paper toweling, or sponges and water, but even large bodied Saturniids like A. atlas females and C. hercules females, can be ready for spreading in less than 24 hours, most others in as little as 8 hours. Keep the specimens out of direct contact with the water, and maybe even tilt the set-up on one end to direct condensation on the lid from dripping on the wings.
If you are only doing a few specimens that would take overnight, I dont add any mold inhibitor, otherwise if your doing this over days, you'll need to add some. as with any method, Id advise you practice on cheaper, or "junk" specimens til you get comfortable. after a while, you'll know about how long a given genus or species takes to rehydrate!
Post by papilio28570 on Mar 9, 2012 12:16:57 GMT -8
Using mouthwash as a humidifying agent in a relaxing chamber was new to me as well and I decided to give it a try.
My chambers consist of plastic Tupperware type containers with a thick layer of saturated paper towel lining the bottom. A sheet of plastic, which I cut from a sandwich store bag is placed over the moist medium and the butterflies are laid atop the plastic with no part of the insect touching the wet towels.
I just finished relaxing 4 Graphium weiskei after 24 or so hours in one chamber and had no problem at all obtaining perfectly relaxed specimens for mounting. I am relaxing Cecropia moths now to see how effective mouthwash is in deterring mold.