I suspect Karen's question isn't the screw-top vial vs. shell vial debate,
but what containers to store them in once you already have gone with shell
vials. There are of course lots of pro's and con's to each setup, although
heat-sealing cotton plugged shell vials is not one of them - it's just as
fast as packaging individual screw tops, you just end up spilling a little
bit of ethanol.

Here at the Cal Academy our entire collection is housed in standard height
shell vials with screw top jars. The jars are standardized and uniform,
making them fit snugly in our metal rack system. They are also less bulky
than the parfait style bail-tops so you can house more vials per jar, more
jars on a shelf, and handle the jar racks more comfortably. The white lids
also make writing or labeling the tops quick and easy. We do store multiple
genera per jar and divide up the space with plastic dividers/liners for
maximal space efficiency. Of course if the jar's aren't sufficiently
tightened there is significant risk of evaporation, within a year it's
usually easy to pick out a jar from a lineup that wasn't fully tightened.

I've worked with collections that are bail-topped and they are cumbersome.
The latex/rubber liners need to be replaced more frequently than a screw
top lid, and the price of the bail jars is *significantly* higher. But
there is only one way to close the jar so there aren't any left
accidentally loose. Not sure which is best, I think cost drove a lot of the
decisions to go with screw top here and I don't think we're any worse off
for having gone that direction.


Christopher C. Grinter

*Collections Manager of Entomology, The California Academy of
SciencesAssistant Secretary & Asst. Treasurer, The Lepidopterists' Society*
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
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office: 415-379-5320

On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 3:26 PM, Karen Wright <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi everyone, would the EtOH folks please give me a pros and cons for screw
> top vs. bail top jars for use with shell vials. Thanks, Karen
> Karen W Wright
> Assistant Curator
> Texas A&M University
> Department of Entomology
> 2475 TAMU
> College Station, TX 77843-2475
> (979)845-9711 <(979)%20845-9711>