[Syrphidae] need help with the conservation of hoverflies

Menno Reemer m_reemer at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 16 15:13:25 BST 2010

I have tried acetone, but I don’t recommend it. Specimens get extremely brittle. 
Instead, you could try amylacetate. Very smelly stuff (reminiscent of winegums, some people like it), but reputedly harmless. Soak the specimens for 24 hours and then dry them. This is also a reasonable method to ensure that specimens that have previously been kept on alcohol keep their body shape. With small specimens you should pin them before you put them into the liquid, because otherwise there’s a big chance that the head will roll off.
Before putting them in amylacetate, you could consider soaking the specimens in a mixture of ethanol and xylene for 24 hours. This degreases the specimens, which increases the chance they keep a good colour (although they tend to get a shade paler). However, xylene is said to be carcinogenic, so I don’t like to use it at home. 
A way to prevent syrphids losing their colours without using chemicals is to try to keep them as dry as possible. So don’t use too much ethyl acetate in your killing jar, don’t put too many specimens in one jar, don’t leave them in too long, keep it out of the sun etc.

M. Reemer
European Invertebrate Survey - Nederland
p/a Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum - . naturalis
Postbus 9517 
2300 RA Leiden 
The Netherlands
Telephone: 071- 5687594 (from abroad +31-71-5687594)
Fax: 071-5687666 (from abroad +31-71-5687666)
menno.reemer at ncbnaturalis.nl


Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 13:52:19 +0000
From: mille_pierre at yahoo.fr
Subject: Re: [Syrphidae] need help with the conservation of hoverflies
To: syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk

Hello every one,
I appeal to the experience of members of this list to see if anyone has a technique to keep the colors of hoverflies. I found that some specimens lose their color when dry. Does anyone has tried acetone? It seems that acetone bath permetra fix the color ? What do you think ?
Best wishes


Pierre MILLE 
3 avenue des buttes blanches
95220 Herblay - France


--- En date de : Mar 8.6.10, Bartsch, Hans D <hans.bartsch at telia.com> a écrit :

De: Bartsch, Hans D <hans.bartsch at telia.com>
Objet: Re: [Syrphidae] Finding Female Episyrphus
À: "Hoverfly discussion list" <syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk>
Date: Mardi 8 juin 2010, 19h53

Hello Matt, 
In Sweden a favorit plant for females to lay egg on is Phragmites communis. So maybe your are lucky on fresh leaves of such stands and in their vicinity 
Best wishes 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Perkins, Matthew 
To: syrphidae at lists.nottingham.ac.uk 
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 7:33 PM
Subject: [Syrphidae] Finding Female Episyrphus

Sorry to trouble you, I am trying to catch female Episyrphus balteatus so that I can produce a supply of eggs in the lab. However I am having trouble finding any. I have located and caught plenty of males hovering under trees and bushes in hedgerows and parkland, but an extensive search of hedgrerow flower banks and buttercup fields has revealed no females. I wondered if anyone had  any good tips for finding females  - such as their favourite habitats or food plant species? I have managed to collect many female Syrphus ribesii amongst nettles and flowers in sunny hedge banks...but no Episyrphus.
Any help would be greatly appreciated as Im waiting on them to construct food chains in the lab.
Kind regards,
Matt Perkins
PhD Researcher
Center for Ecology & Conservation
The University of Exeter

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