I've heard reports that glycerin will bind to chitin over time and can't be washed off, creating a fuzzy/blurry appearance. I've noticed this when trying to image dissections that were stored in glycerin that they appear slightly out of focus. The team up at the CNC stores some dissections in Lactic Acid. I'd imagine Lactic Acid or Ethanol would be suitable for longer storage? It would be nice to have some comparative studies done...


Christopher C. Grinter
Collections Manager of Entomology, The California Academy of Sciences
Assistant Secretary & Asst. Treasurer, The Lepidopterists' Society

Program Co-Chair, Entomological Collections Network
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
office: 415-379-5320

On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 11:33 AM, Andrew Brower <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi Andy et al.,

Your statement about nail polish and Elmer零 begs the question - what do
you recommend as an archival alternative?


Professor Andrew V. Z. Brower
Evolution and Ecology Group
Dept. of Biology, Box 60
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

(615) 898-2064

On 7/18/18, 1:27 PM, "Entomological Collections Network Listserve on
behalf of Andy Deans" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]>

>Hi all,
>Does anyone know the history of glycerol / glycerin / glycerine use in
>entomology, for storing genitalia, etc.? I see references from the 1950s
>at least, some with additives like chloral hydrate and (yikes!) arsenic.
>Does anyone know how stable glycerol alone is over the long term? I heard
>anecdotally that there are specimens more than 100 years old that have
>been stored in glycerol. My impression is that these older specimens are
>mostly cuticle - the soft bits having been digested away with KOH. Would
>soft tissues preserve well in glycerol alone? Thanks for any help!
>Also, thanks for your responses to the survey about adhesives. I have
>been researching different classes of adhesives and now have a manuscript
>to be shared shortly. The results will also be presented at the meeting
>in Vancouver. More soon ... but I should put at least this advise out
>there now: We really should stop using clear nail polish and Elmer's!
>They are NOT archival.
>Andy Deans
>Frost Entomological Museum
>Penn State