This explains the package I got from my nephew during the Kuwait war.  I small package that I described at the time, "like a Marine had tromped on it".  When I opened it, there was a tissue with a lump in it and a leg sticking out.  Then the leg moved.  Despite the treatment the Eleodes beetle my nephew had sent me was alive and well.  (He said he put it in freeon for 6 hours and was stunned it was alive.)  So HA!! back-atcha postal guys.  Neither freeze, oxygen deprivation or postal/marine boots shall defeat Eleodes. 


I believe I saw a TV short where a tank drove over a walking beetle and crushed it into the sand. Sand is forgiving and beetles are tough.  as the tank drove on, the beetle pulled out of the sand and continued its stroll.


And not withstanding our experiences, I think it's likely that there are good and considerate postal workers in their ranks. 



Sharon J. Collman

Horticulture and IPM Educator

WSU Snohomish County Extension

600 128th St SE, Everet, WA 98208

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From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Lynn Kimsey [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2015 6:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "fragile" mail = greater package abuse?

We received a box containing specimens that had been crushed on one corner and had a boot lug mark on the crushed corner. When I asked the UPS delivery guy who had our route - he smiled and said that was their seal of approval...

Lynn Kimsey

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Sharkey, Michael J <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2015 4:10 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "fragile" mail = greater package abuse?
I saw similar things many times in Canada when I worked with the postal service one summer.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 8, 2015, at 6:47 PM, "Michael A. Ivie" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

We stopped doing it long ago, as I observed first hand a postal person saying "oh, fragile" and then going a hook shot into the bin.


On 6/8/2015 4:42 PM, Derek Sikes wrote:

This disturbing news recently crossed my desk:

"One disheartening result was that our package received more abuse when marked "Fragile" or "This Side Up." The carriers flipped the package more..."

Has anyone considered NOT marking boxes of specimens 'fragile' ???



Derek S. Sikes, Curator of Insects
Associate Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK   99775-6960

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phone: 907-474-6278
FAX: 907-474-5469

University of Alaska Museum  -  search 302,939 digitized arthropod records

Interested in Alaskan Entomology? Join the Alaska Entomological
Society and / or sign up for the email listserv "Alaska Entomological Network" at


Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50      
1911 West Lincoln Street
NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
Montana State University                
Bozeman, MT 59717

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
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