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Is chloroform able to preserve beetle? Answered

is chloroform a preservative?
can i use it to preserve dead beetle?

then if it isnt what other simple alternatives do i have?


I believe the traditional approach (since the early days of naturalist collections) is to just let adult beasties dry out, and to preserve caterpillars or other soft-bodied critters in alcohol or formaldehyde.

If you want a non-simple alternative, you could investigate bioplastic, which is used to cast specimens into a block of resin. One interesting side effect of bioplastic is that, since it soaks into soft tissues, it tends to turn them translucent, making interior organs somewhat visible through the skin.

How did you get the idea? You can preserve them in ethanol (hard to get), dry the hard-bodied ones, or try something like vodka, maybe (some people say it works).
Anyway, how were you going to make/get chloroform. I'm extremely interested, as I wanted to play with it.

i thought you could just buy it... cos we use chloroform at school for joining pieces of acrylic

the paintbrush that we use to apply chloroform always get real hard but it will always become soft again when we dip it into the chloroform

my teacher told me (maybe i heard wrongly) that chloroform can preserve stuff. Maybe he was referring to formalin

Schools and businesses can buy chlorohorm. In the US it is illegal for household use or ownership.

O.o i live in singapore in SE asia...
maybe i can try sticking a bug into the bottle of chloroform at school.

Chloroform is nasty toxic stuff and volatile.
Do you want them dry or in liquid?


Chloroform will kill them but I don't think it will preserve them.  Hard bodied beetles will preserve themselves if mounted properly.  They should be kept in a box/frame with a glass lid and moth balls placed inside.  otherwise ants/flys/other beetles will attack your collection.

Soft bodied beetles should be preserved in alcohol in viles.

Here's a link with some good info.