The whole Delias collection is very nice and very varied, and is currently still being arranged and has a good range of species from the Oriental and Australian regions, many that are missing in my small collection. It being in a 40 drawer wooden antique cabinet adds to the flavour of the collection. Its special strong point is that like other large collections, it contains many species that are unavailable today. Hard to pick favourites but one was a large fresh female of Delias sacha from Obi.
And I learned many new things! I was always wondering why some of my specimens did not look as fresh after taking them off the spreading boards after only two weeks.Tiny little mites that live on the spreading boards and can do damage in a few days. One fellow collector instructed me to use lighter fluid to wash off the spreading boards every time after using them, to completely kill off mites and eggs, will definitely do that. Also need to freeze my whole collection again and make sure nothing got in there.
What's the technique for this? Just immerse the boards in a tub of lighter fluid and for how long? Would freezing the boards be an alternative/equally effective method?
amanat88 the technique is to hold the spreading board slightly inclined and then let the lighter fluid flow over the board so that every little needle pin hole is soaked with lighter gasoline/fluid. It has to be the lighter fluid because it is far more poisonous than 100% ethanol. The deep freezer doesn’t work, because the mite eggs still survive minus twenty degrees and when you put a moist butterfly on the spreading board they hatch and start eating. It happened to me many times, but you can do both of course. Deep freeze will always kill the adults, gasoline kills the eggs.
Hahaha. Yes Ed, that’s true. Well I thought that rule is for weak people or children, and did it in a closed room, then started spreading and did that with a few boards. Well, I got what is called a gasoline poisoning, really not that nice, you have to vomit for a night and feel horrible. Always do it in the open or at least directly next to an open window. Lighter fluid vaporises within seconds...
When i spread specimens, I put the completed board in a fan oven for 4hr at 45C, then into a (mesh-vented) board storage&drying box for 2-3 wk, with an insect-killing sachet inside, to prevent museum beetle eggs etc. I didn’t know about these mites. Would the Arcana sachet be expected to kill the wee rascals and their eggs? (Please no punny replies!).. A