Wanted: Preserved Cephalopod Specimens

Stereoguy

Larval Mass
Registered
#1
Hello,

I am seeking preserved specimens of Cephalopods which will be used in a collection of biological specimens. Currently I am collecting many different kinds of cephalopods including nautilus, squid, octopus, etc.

Does anyone have any for sale, or is anyone in the position to acquire specimens that have died of natural causes so that they can be preserved in the collection?

Thank you
-Rex
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#2
I have a few. 3 of them are frozen, and one is in formalin.

1- briareus perserved
1- vulagris frozen,
2- hummelicki or aculeatus (i forget, maybe one each) frozen

you figure out shipping, and pay for it. and i'll send them.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#3
I have several small O. briareus that have been put in formalin and then into alcohol. Sadly they did not die of natural causes and are quite young. I preserve my dead animals for educational purposes (personal or acedemic) and don't display or keep them myself so you are welcomed to what you need. My only request is for a photo of its final resting spot or use (like dissection) to put at the end of the animal's journal.
 

Stereoguy

Larval Mass
Registered
#4
DWhatley;184897 said:
I have several small O. briareus that have been put in formalin and then into alcohol. Sadly they did not die of natural causes and are quite young. I preserve my dead animals for educational purposes (personal or acedemic) and don't display or keep them myself so you are welcomed to what you need. My only request is for a photo of its final resting spot or use (like dissection) to put at the end of the animal's journal.

Hey, that sounds great to me. I have a modest collection of preserved marine biology specimens, and these could fit in quite well. Do you have any photos? I would be happy to send you photos of them in their final display if you'd like.
-Rex
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#5
I don't display them, just preserve them for others so you would have to come up with an appropriate container. I usually recommend doing a swap on the alcohol one time rather than reusing what they are initially in because it often turns a bit yellowish from any residual formalin (these are small enough that I don't detect yellowing but would still recommend using new) and I will mail them in the smallest container I can find. I recommend the 91% alcohol over the 73%. Once sealed, they should stay preserved for as long as you will want keep them.

Here are the two that I have in alcohol at the moment. The container is 3.5" in diameter. These, sadly, were very young animals that did not survive the shipping and reacclimation process.
 

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Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
#6
Someone (Mucktopus) should post instructions for properly preparing octopus. A specimen with tightly coiled arms isn't much use for study. It takes a bit of practice to relax and straighten the arms by repeatedly dipping them is ETOH and massaging the arms, the results are worth it.

One word of caution about shipping preserved specimens. Check postal or package carriers' regulations. Shipping alcohol and formalin is regulated.

Roy
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#7
Oh boy! I already HATE putting them in formalin so having to do more than just pour and cap will be delightful - NOT!. However, I would like to know how to keep the arms from curling so would encourage Mucktopus to lead the way :wink:.

I checked USPS on the alcohol restrictions (here is the beginning of where I found the info with additional links. Not quite as straight forward as I would like but at least findable) and all I could find is that it needed to be marked for ground tansport only (which I have forgotten to do on occasion) and that there is a maximum amount (but have forgotten the quantity). I preserve in formalin but then rinse and transfer because I hate the stuff so much and feel the alcohol is much safer should the container break (most go to young people).
 

Stereoguy

Larval Mass
Registered
#8
DWhatley;185780 said:
Oh boy! I already HATE putting them in formalin so having to do more than just pour and cap will be delightful - NOT!. However, I would like to know how to keep the arms from curling so would encourage Mucktopus to lead the way :wink:.

I checked USPS on the alcohol restrictions (here is the beginning of where I found the info with additional links. Not quite as straight forward as I would like but at least findable) and all I could find is that it needed to be marked for ground tansport only (which I have forgotten to do on occasion) and that there is a maximum amount (but have forgotten the quantity). I preserve in formalin but then rinse and transfer because I hate the stuff so much and feel the alcohol is much safer should the container break (most go to young people).
Thank you for the info. 91% isopropyl alcohol is what I normally use to prepare specimens. Do these particular specimens float or sink in alcohol? I have had trouble with floaters because they can’t be examined in the jar as well.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#9
I first prepare them in formalin. Using alcohol only will dry they out in a short time and they will become withered. By first using the foramlin, the tissue changes and is better preserved. Then I rinse them in saltwater (buffered is recommended) and then put them in the 91% alcohol. None of mine float but all of them have curled arms (this happens the initial formalin soak, almost on contact and is why I dread learning how to prevent is as it means I will have to mess with the formalin).
 

Stereoguy

Larval Mass
Registered
#10
DWhatley;185833 said:
I first prepare them in formalin. Using alcohol only will dry they out in a short time and they will become withered. By first using the foramlin, the tissue changes and is better preserved. Then I rinse them in saltwater (buffered is recommended) and then put them in the 91% alcohol. None of mine float but all of them have curled arms (this happens the initial formalin soak, almost on contact and is why I dread learning how to prevent is as it means I will have to mess with the formalin).
Ok, from what I have read that sounds like a good method for preservation. I would love to have them. How would you like to arrange the transaction? Feel free to pm me if you'd like.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#11
PM me your snail mail address and promise to post/send a photo of their final use.
 

Stereoguy

Larval Mass
Registered
#13
DWhatley, as promised here is the photo of the two octopus in their specimen jars. Thanks again for sending me the specimens, they are great.





If anyone else has preserved animals they'd like to contribute, please send me a PM
 

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DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#14
Thanks for the photo. It would be nice to show your whole collection and saying something about why you are collecting them. We like to support any kind of educational exposure but personal interest is a large part of our forum.
 

Grozny

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#15
Stereoguy;187308 said:
If anyone else has preserved animals they'd like to contribute, please send me a PM
I am very interested in something like this just for myself. I don't see myself ever being able to have a tank to house an octopus and I really haven't even found any close aquariums with live octopus for me to visit. I have really fallen in love with the animal and enjoy collecting many things octopus. Having something like this to keep and cherish would be incredibly great if anyone could offer up suggestions on how to get something similar. I love the idea of it in the labeled jar.
 

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