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For collecting chafer DNA material

1) Specimens should preserved in 96% pure alcohol. Best is to use small polyethylene vials ( I may provide them on request). Most important thing for conserving specimens is to remove the water from the beetle (for that's why best to kill beetles in 70% alcohol and to transfer them a little later (half our or so) into 96% alcohol. If possible, change this 96% alcohol after a couple of ours (as water from the beetle dilutes the alcohol considerably);

2) Never put too much specimens in one vial, best formula is 1 volume of beetles in five volumes 96% alcohol. If necessary for very short periods for transport (e.g. in aircraft) beetles can be stored less or without alcohol (but not air dried !), when after the travel/ shipping the vials are refilled with 96% alcohol.

3) If possible, alcohol preserved specimens should be stored in freezer, or at least as cool as possible (this helps to have less hydrolysis of DNA). That's why best to ship collected specimens as soon as possible.

4) From strongly sclerotized beetles (e.g. Cetoniids, Melolonthines or Geotrupidae) best to detach pronotum and abdomen that the alcohol can better invade the interior body parts. (Muscles and DNA might be damaged before the alcohol may penetrate and fix the body of the beetles.)



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   © 2008 by Dirk Ahrens •  d.ahrens@nhm.ac.uk