Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ry-hydrating Insects

Ry-hydrating bugs is what has been going on around my house. Remember the 100+ frozen bugs that we acquired at the last Entomology class. Most of the critters have been in a deep freeze for a few years. To be able to pin them you have to put moisture back into them. I had to make a Ry-hydrating chamber for them. I must truly be head over heels for my little girl.

Supplies Needed.: (I know you're going to run out and make one.)
Plastic container
Plastic like a baggie, saran wrap or a grocery sack
Bleach or Pine Sol
Smaller plastic dish to put into the larger one or Styrofoam to fit into it container
Put the sand into the larger container. I used a plastic shoe box. I can imagine this is an ongoing thing for a few years to come in my house.

 Add water to the sand so it is wet but not overly wet where you can see the water. Then add 2 tbsp. to the bleach or Pine Sol. This is to stop mold from forming in the sand or on the insects. Make sure it is mixed in well.
Add the plastic on the top of the sand. The bag helps to make humidity into the box.
Add the smaller containers or the Styrofoam into the larger box. I used the cheap re-usable food containers. I actually cut one to make it much smaller in height and then used the lid. I thought this is easier than the Styrofoam. That way when I remove the bugs to pin we can just lift the dish out. Then add the bugs.
Close the lid. If you have a sunny place put it there. It will create the humidity much faster. The chamber takes 24-72 hours depending on lots of factors. Size of insects, how dry they are and even temperature. If you notice that you aren't getting the condensation then add a little more water.

Our critter took around 48 hours. I was told that I would lose a few in this process. Which we did as some of the bugs are to brittle and to long in the deep freeze. I should of let one of them go for another day or so.
We lost 2 bugs. Considering this was our first time doing this. I am told we did pretty good. Bug added a cicada killer, broadwinged katydid, wheel bug, and a female walking stick to her collection. 
I know you can't resist to see a closer imagine. All the extra pins are to keep the legs, and antennas in place. 

The dryer bugs are quite different than the bugs that have been in your freezer for a a few weeks. The joint snap, crackle, and pop when you are moving them in place. This was a little creepy for me. Then I would look up at Bug when I wanted to gross out or put it down. 

You are suppose to make the insects look like they would if they were living. I have also learned how to use gel super glue when we lose an insect part. It has to be the gel super glue.
So this is my life with a bug crazy 9 year old girl. I don't foresee it lessening any time in the future. She has been crazy for bugs since she could walk. So off to fill up the next set of bug into the chamber. This will be going on for a several weeks. I want to get these ultra-frozen bugs done before we start catching our own bugs this coming spring and summer. Which is right around the corner. I am going to be so tired of bugs. I better go buy some more pins!

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