|Because I said I would
||[Jul. 9th, 2014|09:34 pm]
Ask Me Anything, Etc.
And if you missed the "hunt" story from two weeks ago:
I wrote to two bug experts, and neither of them discouraged me from using the long-range insecticide as a kill method. So I didn't have to risk being stung all that much!
There were 8 wasps on my porch last night, so I selected one that was flying in my general direction and sprayed it. And sprayed it some more. Honestly, red wasps will drop dead on impact with this spray, but this tarantula hawk wasp took a good minute to die.
At least I thought it was dead. I submerged it in alcohol to get the spray residue off of it, and also to make sure it was extra dead.
Then I went about spreading the wings on a pin board so that it would dry in an aesthetically pleasing way. Only after I got the wings situated, and I started to spread the legs did I realize that they were still moving on their own. WTF.
Okay, so I rigged up a kill chamber with ethyl acetate. I got a big bowl, poured a good 1/4 cup of ethyl acetate in the bottom, then placed the entire pin board with the wasp still on it into the bowl. Then I covered it with cellophane.
After more than an hour, its legs were still moving. WWWTTTFFF.
Then I put the board/wasp into the freezer and let it stay there overnight.
This morning, it no longer moved, and I finished pinning its legs.
Now it is supposed to be allowed to dry for 10-14 days before I unpin it and mount it. So I'll do my follow-up in AMA_ETC when that's all done :) Its wingspan is larger than the width of my fingers, and although this is my first time to prepare an insect for mounting, I think it will be presentable. Probably not fabulous (the photo in the original post is beautifully prepared) but you'll definitely be able to see what the bug is all about. <--this was correct, my pinning was not amazing, but it still looks pretty, I think!