Myrmecos

A comment on slowing insects by chilling

pasimachus2s.jpg

Once, I showed the above photograph to an expert on ground beetles. His only comment: “That looks dead”.

It wasn’t dead, I had merely stuck it in the fridge to cool it down enough to sit still for a shot or two. I had spent the previous 20 minutes chasing the darn thing around the living room. Like many ground beetles, it was a fast and an uncooperative subject, and in frustration I fell back to the insect photographer’s old standby. The fridge.

Don’t chill the bugs. Chilled animals don’t act normally, they get their limbs into strange positions, and they often carry a tell-tale residue of condensing water. People who know the animals well won’t be fooled.