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Diptera.info :: Miscellaneous :: General queries
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Pinning flies and wasps and some curious questions.
jorgemotalmeida
#41 Print Post
Posted on 05-09-2007 12:43
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thanks crex! Smile

TO print insect labels I read somewhere that laser printer is much better than an ink printer... is it true?
 
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Tony T
#42 Print Post
Posted on 05-09-2007 15:06
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jorgemotalmeida wrote:
for bottom of the boxes we can use:

5) plastazote foam - is it the same as styrofoam?

> I'm considering this : Plastazote foam bottom not glued by paper, glass top

> For wooden boxes, if I consider one... perhaps it will be in brown impregnated alder (mahogany)


This is getting too complex; let's start with storage.
1] The small units with foam (plastazote is the best) bottom are the UNIT TRAYS. They can be any size you want but they should be made so that when arranged in columns and rows they fit exactly into the STORAGE BOX or STORAGE DRAWER. The sides of the unit trays should be a little higher than the length of the pins. No glass top on unit trays
2] The unit trays are placed in a STORAGE BOX (STORAGE DRAWER). Same thing except that storage boxes are usually kept on a shelf, storage drawers fit into a cabinet. These boxes/drawers are slightly higher than the unit trays.
You can make the boxes to fit the trays or make the trays to fit the boxes.
3] My boxes have a hardboard top and bottom, the sides are made of MDF board (can use wood, pine is good if no knots). The boxes are made in one piece - 4 sides, 1 top and 1 bottom. The top (about 1/4 of the height) is cut off. An inner set of sides is glued in the bottom half. This makes for an pest proof box when the lid is on. See corner detail in photo.
4] You can have a glass lid if you wish.
It would be so much easier for someone to show you pinning, labelling and storing; difficult to explain in words.
5] My storage boxes hold 5 columns of unit trays. All unit trays are same width but are of 4 different lengths - but all combinations fit into the storage box.
Tony T attached the following image:


[36.38Kb]
 
jorgemotalmeida
#43 Print Post
Posted on 05-09-2007 21:52
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great explanation! Smile
 
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Tony T
#44 Print Post
Posted on 06-09-2007 15:23
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If I was starting an insect collection I would begin with cheap cardboard boxes with plastazoate or styrofoam bottoms. These come with either carboard box tops or with glass. I would store them in sealed plastic bags to keep out humidity and dermestids. In Canada they are very inexpensive. As the collection grew, and if I remained interested in collecting, I would start buying/making wooden boxes and unit trays. You can get some idea of all the various types of storage systems HERE; also in French. I think 1 Euro = about 2 Canadian $$.
 
jorgemotalmeida
#45 Print Post
Posted on 06-09-2007 22:09
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thanks a lot, Tony!


Just more one question: which is the kind of paper that museums use for labels the pinned flies? Smile
I can have access to a printer laser. Wink So, it would be great to know which kind of paper can be used in printer laser to do the labels. Thank you.
 
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Tony T
#46 Print Post
Posted on 06-09-2007 23:20
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The critical factor is that it be acid free. I use 110lb paper which is quite thick but any weight greater than 28lb will do. Check with your laser printer to see what the maximum thickness (weight) of paper it will take. Check with the enomological supply companies to see what they sell in the way of label paper.
Paper with a high rag content is believed to be better than regular paper.
Hopefully some of the European Dipterists will comment.
 
jorgemotalmeida
#47 Print Post
Posted on 06-09-2007 23:30
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thanks, Tony. Let's go wait for more opinions!
Edited by jorgemotalmeida on 06-09-2007 23:31
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/superegnum
jorgemotalmeida
#48 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2007 12:32
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Tony T wrote:
The critical factor is that it be acid free. I use 110lb paper which is quite thick but any weight greater than 28lb will do. Check with your laser printer to see what the maximum thickness (weight) of paper it will take. Check with the enomological supply companies to see what they sell in the way of label paper.
Paper with a high rag content is believed to be better than regular paper.
Hopefully some of the European Dipterists will comment.


110 lb?? 1 lb (one pound) = 453,5 g ! Therefore 110 lb = 49,8 kg??

It is a rather heavy paper! Smile

or are you talking about another lb?? awkward
Or is it 110 g? Wink
Edited by jorgemotalmeida on 07-09-2007 12:36
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/superegnum
Tony T
#49 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2007 14:35
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In North America paper is characterized by its brightness and weight. "Weight" is the weight in pounds of 500 sheets of 17 inch by 22 inch paper.
Standerd weights are 16 to 42 lbs. Regular office, Xerox, typing paper, is usually 24 or 28 lbs. So my 110 lb paper is roughly 4-5 times as thick as regular paper.
In Metric measurements, "weight" is the weight, in grams, of 1 sheet of 1 square meter of paper.
110 lb paper in NA would be about 400 grams/square meter.
Brightness varies from about 80% to an impossible 110%; most seem to be in the 95% region. Low brightmess values makes the paper look grey; aim for as high a number as you can get.
Edited by Tony T on 07-09-2007 14:36
 
Susan R Walter
#50 Print Post
Posted on 08-09-2007 18:14
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Jorge

Paper: The paper normally used for photocopying or office printing is usually 70 or 80 gsm (grams per square metre). Some places use a heavier grade of 120 gsm photocopying or printing paper, especially if they use a paper with a letterhead preprinted on it. The paper I use for botanical specimens is a heavy weight cartridge paper of the sort that artists use for sketching. This is 220gsm (100lbs), so quite similar in weight to what Tony is using for his boxes. I suggest talking to your nearest artists supply store - many of them also supply museums and have a good understanding of natural history collections requirements.

The term Acid Free is used to indicate that the paper is stable and will not become brittle and yellow over time. The terms Museum Grade/Quality, Conservation Grade or Lignin Free also indicate suitable paper - they all mean more or less the same thing. The reason rag based paper is better is because it is more stable because it is hand made in small batches, with few additives and the principle fibre is a plant fibre other than wood. The lignin (a type of cellulose) from wood pulp in modern industrially produced paper breaks down quite quickly, through exposure to visible and invisible (UV) light, producing an acid and causing the paper to go yellowy brown and brittle. Leave a newspaper half in the sun and half covered for just an hour and you will see what I mean.

Printers: Laser printers are better than dot matrix because the ink is waterproof. Neither is considered to be truly museum standard because neither is adequately light fast though.

Foam Bases: Polystyrene aka styrofoam aka expanded polystyrene foam is completely inert, so will not produce nasty gases or acids that will destroy your specimens. It is also cheap and readily available eg in your local hardware store as ceiling tiles. Environmentally it is a problem if used as a packing material because it does not break down (ie it is inert). It can be safely burnt, which produces something perfectly inocuous (hydrogen and something I think from memory, but can't be bothered looking it up to check). The disadvantage for display boxes is that it does not cut neatly - crumbles all over the place and just doesn't look professional, and over time, it will develop bigger and bigger holes from pins being stuck in it over and over.

Plastazote is a brand name for high density polyethelene foam. It is also inert and comes in a range of densities from flexible to rigid. It is slightly more trouble to obtain, but the specialist entomological suppliers will all have it. It is also more expensive, but cuts to size and shape easily and neatly, and the surface is 'self healing' ie it does not deteriorate over time with being stuck with pins.

Dessicants: I recommend ArtSorb, available from Conservation by Design www.conservation-...sign.co.uk, but you must use it in the way described by Tony and periodically 'refresh' it in the oven or it is a waste of time.

Storage Boxes: Your storage box should obviously protect the collection from physical damage - being knocked etc. You need to be aware that the box itself may cause problems for the collection. It needs to be well sealed to exclude pests coming in, but that means that internally it will create its own microclimate, which can lead to conditions suitable for fungal infestation. To control this, and keep conditions as generally stable as possible, make sure the boxes are kept somewhere that the temperature does not fluctuate (and ideally is probably about 16C - not too hot, not too cold. If in doubt, colder is better than hotter.) The dessicant gels/crystals will also help with this problem, keeping the relative humidity (RH) stable. Almost all boxes will produce gases which can harm the collection long term, especially if the RH is too high. As well as the cellulose in paper, coatings such as paints and varnishes, the solvents in glues, certain types of plastics, certain types of wood and dyes or rubber backings in textile linings are the worst offenders.


Susan
 
http://loirenature.blogspot.com/
Tony T
#51 Print Post
Posted on 08-09-2007 19:57
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110 lb paper (actually I think they call it "card stock" here) may seem thick when handled as a single sheet but when cut into a typical locality label (approx. 15x10mm) it gives a nice rigid label. I measured the thickness, it's 0.25mm; so it's actually quite thin. One could even use thicker paper for labelsGrin.
 
jorgemotalmeida
#52 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 11:23
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wow! Smile Great input Tony and Susan! Thank you a thousand.

First: Susan, do you know in UK online stores that sell the proper paper for pinned flies? WE HAVE no specific stores near. Maybe only in Oporto (200 km) and Lisbon (300 km).

For printers, I know that to liquify the toners it is need temepratures over 300 ?C impressive! That's why the paper printed get out so warm. Grin
I need special paper for LASER (I have a friend that have access to one -
samsung clp-300) that can keep well with high temperatures and have enough tickness. And it must have over 95% brightness. I don't know which is the maximum tickness for the printer laser I appointed above (in the original site they don?t inform (?) about the maximum tickness enable for the printer).
So: paper anti-acid, over 95% brightness, with a good tickness, and that keep well with high temperatuers... what a paper!! Smile Is there this dream of paper?

The problem for plastazote is: if wrapped like a cilinder it is not easy to put in horizontal position. awkward

Artsorb! I never heard about this. It seems to be better silica gel packs. I will ask for this Artsorb.

If I use a normal zip-lock bags, I hope that this is not harmful for the collection... you talked about "certain types of plastics, certain types of wood and dyes or rubber backings in textile linings are the worst offenders." Which kind of plastic? awkward

Tony, usually how do you organize your boxes? You put many families in the same box? Or did you in this way:
1 - for your favourite families, you got ONE box specially for it, and then you organize the box in alphabetical order for genus?.
2 - for the rest, we mix all in the same box.. and just try to organize them in alphabetical order?.. or in taxonomical order, I mean, similarities among the families.
3 - or other? Smile


Thank you.
 
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ChrisR
#53 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 12:16
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I just use Conqueror 160gsm thick paper and it goes through my laster printer fine. The resulting data/det labels stay on the pins firmly but to ensure they don't rotate or slip in time you would use thick pins - like #3 size. That's why i (and a lot of others) prefer staging - the resulting specimen, stage & labels are very solid and protect the specimen well.

Watkins & Doncaster aren't the cheapest entomological supplier but they do sell the best equipment here in the UK. Their site is http://www.watdon..._home.html. They sell plastazote boxed & pre-cut into short strips that you just have to cut to the correct length. I use these and their A1 & D3 micropins - stage pins can just be cheap, steel Asta pins Smile
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
jorgemotalmeida
#54 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 13:24
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so, in resume:

pin #3 -- to keep labels tight. Is this the reference: E6861E N0.3 - 38mm x 0.50mm ? it is ugly..


pin A1, D3 -- Stainless steel headless pins - I don?t like these one.. I prefer black pins.. I have some pins with this feature: size 0, length 38 mm, diameter 0,35 mm. It correspond to the E6862B in the site you gave. I used only these pins... just I will need a more smaller pins like these: size 000, length 38 mm, diameter 0,25 mm (the E6861 in the Watkins' site) I suppose you use pin A1 to pin very tiny flies on small stripe of plastazote, and the other one D3 in a much bigger fly. Smile

plastazote strips for staging -- it will be pinned with pin#3 with labels below the specimen.. I think that is not pratical to have labels below the specimen. To see which is the species of the specimen we just can see that in some specific angles. awkward


Other important issue. Concerning the labelling of the flies:

2 labels... for the collection, right? I saw your website, and I would like to put some questions.

1st label (near specimen)

o Place of capture (region, place name & map reference)

QUESTION: Will be enough use geographic coordinates without putting UTM? Right?

o Date of capture (often with the month in roman numerals)

OBSERVATION: I use always the format IN THIS WAY: YYYY.MM.DD
This avoids confusion!
I explain:
DD.MM.YYYY 02.12.2007 ---> is it 2 December 2007 or 12 February 2007? awkward That's why I use the above format.
The same thing for format MM.DD.YYYY.

The other advantage is that you can put the hour! Smile
YYYY.MM.DD.HH.MinMin.SS Smile Of course that the HH.MinMin.SS is useless in this case..

I think it is best to use just arabic algarisms, than mix up arabic with roman algarisms. Well, this can be questionable.
So, I always in this way: 2007.09.11(.12.30.30) Smile (THE hour I wrote this post, ehe)

o Name of collector

OBSERVATION: First and last name, right?

o (optional) method of collection



2nd label (more near plastazote foam) - the determination (or 'det'Wink label (usually the lowest label) containing:


o Species name

QUESTION: why you wrote by hand the species and not typing in the printer ? awkward

o Sex

If we know.. Smile

o Name of determiner
o Year of determination



thanks for your patience. Smile
Edited by jorgemotalmeida on 11-09-2007 13:27
 
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jorgemotalmeida
#55 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 13:30
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see here for Spelling of Dates logically
http://www.kave.b...tumeng.htm


More one question: is it a good idea to put naphthalene inside the boxes? I don't know it this chemical can absorve humidity as well...
The major disadvantage would be the smelling of our specimens. awkward
 
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ChrisR
#56 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 14:00
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Use of Napthalene or any other chemical insecticide has been the tradition in insect collections but, with our increased knowledge of the negative health problems associated with long exposure, quite a few institutions are now moving to air-tight cabinets and regular freezing of boxes to keep pests down. I have used Vapona cut into little blocks and pinned into my storeboxes but I am phasing this out and will just keep a good eye on my boxes and freeze them regularly.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
ChrisR
#57 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 14:22
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To answer your questions:

Pins: If your specimen is large you might want to do direct pinning with 38mm continental pins (I hardly ever direct pin). But try not to use any pins that are thin enough to bend while you push them into dense foam or cork. Bending pins risk damage to the specimen from either the action of bending or by accidental 'twanging'.

For staging or carding I only use #3 pins or thicker for the main stage-pin because they do not bend when pushed into the hardest of substrates (cork) and they are thick enough to prevent any labels from slipping.

The headless A1 and D3 pins are only used to pin the specimen to the foam stage strip and they seem to be the best sizes for my specimens.

Labels go below the stage, on the stage-pin. Data label goes on first because it should never be removed; the determination label goes underneath. The determination label is just a back-up to go with the specimen when it is moved around - the specimen will go into a store box which will be divided up into blocks of the same species and each block will have an easily-read label showing the name of the flies in that block.

Location: I always try to give a place name (eg. "ENGLAND: Hartslock Reserve, Goring-on-Thames, Oxon"Wink AND map co-ordinates (eg. "SU616796"Wink. I use the British "Landranger" co-ordinates here in the UK because they are readily recognised here and they are shorter than latitude/longitude (UTM?). But abroad I would always give a full lat/long reference.

Date: The date format isn't really important, other than it should be obvious to both Europeans (who usually use dd/mm/yy) and Americans (who usually use mm/dd/yy) and not confusing. In the UK we often put the month in Roman numerals to make this clear.

Name of collector: I would always give the full name, just for clarity - there are 2 dipterists called "Stuart Ball" so any middle-name initials should be given.

Species name: Some are printed (UK tachinids) and others are hand-written (foreign tachinids or any other insect). To print out an A4 sheet of random determinations would mean storing them up for a long time or wasting a lot of paper, and I prefer to attach a det label to the specimen immediately to avoid any confusion later. If this means I have to hand-write it then that's no big problem.

Hope that helps Smile

Best wishes,
Chris R.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
jorgemotalmeida
#58 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 14:45
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freezing? Frown But then... with the warming of boxes you will win some droplets of water on specimens... and then.. fungi attacks.
I think that using silica gel or artsorb and a zip.lock bag will do the thing.

UTM - Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system
http://en.wikiped...ate_system

"A position on the Earth is referenced in the UTM system by the UTM longitude zone, and the easting and northing coordinate pair. The easting is the projected distance of the position from the central meridian, while the northing is the projected distance of the point from the equator. The point of origin of each UTM zone is the intersection of the equator and the zone's central meridian. In order to avoid dealing with negative numbers, the central meridian of each zone is given a "false easting" value of 500,000 meters. Thus, anything west of the central meridian will have an easting less than 500,000 meters. For example, UTM eastings range from 167,000 meters to 833,000 meters at the equator (these ranges narrow towards the poles). In the northern hemisphere, positions are measured northward from the equator, which has an initial "northing" value of 0 meters and a maximum "northing" value of approximately 9,328,000 meters at the 84th parallel -- the maximum northern extent of the UTM zones. In the southern hemisphere, northings decrease as you go southward from the equator, which is given a "false northing" of 10,000,000 meters so that no point within the zone has a negative northing value.

As an example, the CN Tower is located at the geographic position [show location on an interactive map] 43?38r42;33.24r43;N, 79?23r42;13.7r43;W. This is in longitude zone 17, and the grid position is 630084m east, 4833438m north." IN wikiepdia.

I use this system. For example, for some flies I caught here the UTM coordinates are in the form: NE8989 ... Almost the same than yours: SU616796 Grin This is UTM coordinate and we seem them in military grid reference system. I have some (this region and around) and they are very, very good. Remember we have and had the best for cartography. :Smile -- Discoveries Odyssey: Glory of the Empire! In that far times, we had great cartopgraphers and still we have great cartographers that made one of the best military maps. Wink They use an UTM grid system, and we can see info about latitude/longitude as well.


I don't agree with the dates: we must SHOULD have a standard date if not... it is confuse! I agree that with numeral roman it turns more easy, but using entirely arabic numerals, the best format is really YYYY.MM.DD to avoid that confusion! See the example I gave. Smile


 
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Susan R Walter
#59 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 15:06
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Chris - Vapona (in its original, highly effective form) has been banned for several years now. What is now sold as Vapona is little more than a herbal remedy as far as I know, although I haven't checked it recently.

Jorge - some ziplock bags are fine, and others are not. As a general rule, the more plastisizer a plastic has ie the more flexible it is, the more likely it is to give off undesirable gases. However, the rule does not apply in the case of plastic bags and sleeves. Some good quality plastic bags are made from inert polyester. It is generally extremely difficult to find out from the manufacturers though. These days you also have the problem that some plastic bags are designed to self destruct within about 12 months (ie they are biodegradable, so as not to add to landfill rubbish). This feature is less likely in ziplock type bags I suspect, but still worth being aware of. I don't really know what to advise you regarding ziplock bags. I'll see if I can find out from a conservator friend and get back to you.

Two good art supply stores in London are The London Graphics Centre www.londongraphic... and Atlantis Paper www.atlantisart.c.... Conservation By Design (see above, who sell ArtSorCool also do some acid free paper. (ArtSorb is a type of silica gel, btw, but a particularly good one if used correctly.) You should try French online art supplies too - they should be a good source of excellent paper and card - search for Aquarelle papier sans acide.
Susan
 
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jorgemotalmeida
#60 Print Post
Posted on 11-09-2007 15:21
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this huge info could be compiled for an article with more information.. telling the advantages/disadvantages to use this or other system (for dissecating, for storing, for pinning, etc etc)

Susan:
"Some good quality plastic bags are made from inert polyester. It is generally extremely difficult to find out from the manufacturers though."

yes.. Sad thanks!

I will try to seek for art supply stores in Porto. But I just can go there in next month.

I will see those sites and then I will let know which references I'm thinking about to buy. MOre later.

Thanks, once again.
 
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