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Good question, Barry. I have not yet attempted to extract DNA from any of the specimens I remove from pins in this manner. However, I still think it's worth a shot, especially if just using the steam method to loosen the specimen from the pin, which should be less intrusive. Another idea might be to take a syringe full of boiling water and apply it locally and sparingly around the pin. This should loosen the specimen while maximizing DNA preservation.

Derek A. Woller, Ph.D.

Entomologist, Rangeland Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Management Team,

USDA: APHIS, PPQ, S&T, CPHST Phoenix Lab
3645 East Wier Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85040
Office: 602-431-3246
Cell: 480-490-6454
Fax: 602-431-3258


On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:48 AM, Barry OConnor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Would the boiling water denature the DNA that the person is trying to collect? - Barry

On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:43 AM, Derek Woller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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 me.

Good luck!

Derek A. Woller, Ph.D.

Entomologist, Rangeland Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Management Team,

USDA: APHIS, PPQ, S&T, CPHST Phoenix Lab
3645 East Wier Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85040
Office: 602-431-3246
Cell: 480-490-6454
Fax: 602-431-3258


On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:13 AM, Michael Wilson <[log in to unmask].uk> 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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-So many mites, so little time!

Barry M. OConnor                    
Professor  & Curator             
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
            
University of Michigan                  phone: 734-763-4354            
1109 Geddes Ave.                          
fax: 734-763-4080
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079          
e-mail: [log in to unmask]