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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

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#1 2020-03-18 04:09:05

TJCanterbury
Registered user
Name: Tristan J Canterbury
From: Gosport, UK
Registered: 2020-03-11
Posts: 4

How to prevent eyes caving in

Hi, I'm just starting my journey as a Dipterist and I'm wondering if there's a way to prevent the eyes of pinned specimens from caving in on themselves? I have an arachnology background so I am more used to preserving in alcohol so perhaps I am simply not drying my specimens out correctly.

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#2 2020-03-19 16:25:34

KenMerrifield
Administrator
Name: Ken Merrifield
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 280

Re: How to prevent eyes caving in

Howard's reply in this thread suggests that the eyes of some groups are prone to collapsing when dried.
http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/t873- … en%3F.html
With most groups I do not find the eyes often collapse, but it does happen sometimes and I have not kept any record of when or how often.
If the specimen is freshly emerged (teneral) it is more likely to crumple on drying if the chitin has not had time to fully harden.
Apart from cases where the key refers to structures in the eyes (as above) collapsed eyes may be an aesthetic problem rather than an identification one.

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#3 2020-03-19 21:35:57

TJCanterbury
Registered user
Name: Tristan J Canterbury
From: Gosport, UK
Registered: 2020-03-11
Posts: 4

Re: How to prevent eyes caving in

Thanks a lot for your response! It happened to my first specimen which is a Phyto discrepans so it's a shame there's nothing to be done. Its pretty eyes are what got me interested in flies. Also happened to my second specimen, a Pegoplata infirma (possibly), but not to my third, a Caliphora vicina; so I was assuming it occurs more with smaller flies (but obviously not a scientifically rigorous assumption).

Last edited by TJCanterbury (2020-03-19 21:37:51)

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#4 2020-03-20 12:57:47

Howard Bentley
Committee
Name: Howard Bentley
Registered: 2008-07-07
Posts: 800

Re: How to prevent eyes caving in

I think you are right about the effect of size, though some families are much more prone than others. The Empididae seem particularly at risk - I don't think I've ever seen a dried specimen with eyes intact. As for eye colours, they almost always disappear - it's very disappointing with the beautiful eyes of the Tabanidae, for example, and here size makes no difference at all.

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#5 2020-03-27 15:21:11

ginescampos
Registered user
Name: Gines
From: Madrid
Registered: 2020-03-27
Posts: 1

Re: How to prevent eyes caving in

Im also a newby and was wondering just the same. Thanks for the thread and hello to all

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