Pheeewww! I’ve just finished sorting batch 3

samples-002

I like to split the processing of Malaise trap samples into several distinct phases. The first phase is to empty the tubes of insects suspended in alcohol into individual tupperware trays and then work through them, splitting out the groups that I am interested in (mainly tachinids) and that I collect for friends.

The tachinids are then dried out slightly on filter-papers and then micropinned into flat, plastic boxes (as on the right of the photo). During this process I hook-out the male genitalia so that they can be viewed easily later. The other sorted samples that will be sent to other entomologists are stored in alcohol-tight tubes – one tube per date/collector/family.

batch3-002

Once the tachinids have dried out fully the next phase is to move the flies onto foam stages, give them a data label and pin them into working drawers. These drawers are work spaces where I can start looking for taxa that I have already described and pull out new taxa.

In this batch I have 273 tachinids plus about another 50 Hymenoptera and other Diptera families. I haven’t seen anything stunning this time but there are a lot of interesting taxa … lots of Borgmeiermyia cf. brasiliana etc. 🙂

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