Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Insect storage

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Question
Can I keep insects in a kill jar for a few months?  Glass jar, cotton balls, 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Answer
Josh,

It depends on the size and type of the insects. A few small beetles, for example, can be stored this way but softer-bodied insects might start to deteriorate. Larger insects will also start to decompose from the inside out because the alcohol won't reach the interior soft tissue. Freezing is your best option for longer term storage prior to sorting and pinning. Anything that will go into long-term alcohol storage should probably be placed into alcohol as soon as possible then transferred to fresh alcohol later.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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