Floyd's suggestion sounds more exciting, but here's another that I use on
Orthoptera specimens with great success: buy a very cheap electric water
boiler (often used for tea) with a wide mouth, like this one:

and then simply hold the specimen over the mouth once the water is boiling
to loosen the specimen or give it a quick dip (too long and coloration
alteration may occur). Then, I just hold the pin in one hand and use
forceps in the other to slide the specimen off. Granted, I have not tried
this methodology with non-orthopterans, but I don't see why it wouldn't
work for other taxa. I also hear a drop of ammonia around the pin might
work, but I have not tested that method since this one works just fine for

Good luck!

*Derek A. Woller, **Ph.D.*

*Entomologist, *Rangeland Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Management Team,

3645 East Wier Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85040
Office: 602-431-3246
Cell: 480-490-6454
Fax: 602-431-3258

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Proud to be an explorer of the final biological frontier: entomology.

On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:13 AM, Michael Wilson <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues
> Does anyone have a good method of removing a (beetle) specimen from a pin
> without the use of a relaxing box?  A student wishes to place dried
> specimens in a solution which will extract the body contents for DNA
> extraction.  But needs to remove the pin first.
> I have read about techniques that can heat a pin using a battery system
> allowing the pin to be removed- but have not seen one in action!  Someone
> else has suggested that a drop of 'wood naptha' at the base of the pin
> would relax the specimen locally and allow the pin to be removed.
> Any suggestions welcomed
> Thanks in advance
> Mike Wilson
> Dr Michael R Wilson
> Entomology Section
> Dept of Natural Sciences
> National Museum of Wales
> Cardiff, CF10 3NP, UK
> Tel: +44 2920 573263
> email: [log in to unmask]
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