Collecting and preserving chalcidoids

Introduction | Collecting methods | Separating material | Relaxing specimens | Drying specimens | Card mounting | Slide mounting | Storing and preserving | Preparing for S.E.M. | Mailing to specialists | Shipping in alcohol | References


When studying chalcidoids it is important to have available comprehensive collections of material that are in good condition and well curated. Many taxonomic studies on chalcidoids have been based on examination of limited material, much of which has been in extremely poor condition. Consequently this has resulted in many very poor taxonomic publications that do not facilitate the identification of taxa. Hence chalcidoids, perhaps slightly unfairly, have a reputation of being an unpleasant group on which to work. The main limitation of studying chalcidoids is their size which makes them both difficult to collect and to study. This section deals with the best methods of collecting chalcidoids and preserving them for scientific study. It results of collecting experiences in many different parts of the world, from examining many thousands of specimens from different taxonomic collections and from mounting more than 200,000 specimens and preparing some 6,000 microscope slides.

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Last updated 19-Aug-2003 Dr B R Pitkin