Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 15:20:33 -0400
Reply-To: Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Sender: Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Betty Jean Piech <bjpiech@DELANET.COM>
Subject: What's Better Than Epsom Salts for Chitons
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Have been having problems with my service provider or I would have written
this quite some time ago. If any of you have written me and not received
an answer, please rewrite your message. Everything seems to be O.K. now.
Now about chitons. The minute you pry them off a rock they curl up. Don't
worry. As soon as you get back to your room do the following:
Take a dish large enough to accommodate your chiton. Use one that has
sides. Put your chiton in ( and fill the container with enough saltwater
(from the ocean) to cover the specimen and wait.
Sometimes it takes quite a while (an hour or more) and sometimes just a
few minutes and the chiton will flatten out on the bottom of your
container. When it is completely stretched out, press your finger down
on it and with your other hand pick up your container and pour the
saltwater out. Still holding the shell in a flattened position, pour an
alcohol solution over the animal enough to completely cover it and wait.
Do not remove your finger completely until it does not start to recurl when
you reduce the pressure. (I take 90% proof alcohol on trips with me. I
have found 30% does a very good job so I can dilute it as needed, and I
have the equivalent of 3 pints although I have only had to carry one with me.)
Have ready a small board (tongue depressors are great)and some twine Slide
the chiton out of the container, place it on the board and using the twine
tie securely in place. Leave it on the board until completely dry and it
will never recurl. And, except for possibly for slight alcohol odor which
disappears in time, there is no smell. Hope it works as well for you and
it has for me. I am sure the Epsom Salts works O.K., but it is just one
more thing you have to carry, tongue depressors don't take up much room.
I wish you good chiton collecting. I brought two pretty little ones (about
1 inch) home with me from American Samoa but haven't gotten them ID'd yet.
Betty Jean The Tall One