Oregon State University
Insect ID Clinic
Insect ID Services
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Preserving specimens properly greatly increases the chance of getting an identification. Immature and soft bodied specimens decay and crush easily so please use the following suggestions when submitting specimens:
1. Try to not crush the specimen being submitted and if possible send 3 or more.
2. If you are submitting a caterpillar, maggot or other immature insect, kill the specimen in ethyl or isopropyl alcohol and, if possible, include live specimen(s) in a container with a piece of dry paper towel. When sending a live specimen please label the exterior with the word "LIVE".
3. Spiders can be sent dead with a small amount of alcohol. Please indicate if you are only interested in knowing if the specimen is a potentially dangerous species (i.e. Hobo spider, black widow, or brown recluse) or not.
1.Dead specimens can be placed in a container with a piece of paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol or submerged in rubbing alcohol (ethyl is preferred). If submitting several different insects/spiders please place them in separate containers each with a separate label written in pencil.
2. Pack specimens in sturdy containers to prevent crushing in transit. Use soft paper to in the container to cusion live specimens during shipping.
3. Identify the package with labels both outside and inside. Place a completed Insect Submission Form in a plastic bag to prevent accidental moisture damage.
April 21, 2010