- The Japanese Society of Systematic Zoology
- Species Diversity (ISSN:13421670)
- vol.26, no.2, pp.217-224, 2021-09-10 (Released:2021-09-10)
Sodium hypochlorite has been used for cleaning specimens of freshwater and brackish water snails that are covered with deposits. Our experiments using specimens of two freshwater snail species, Semisulcospira niponica (Smith, 1876) and S. reticulata Kajiyama and Habe, 1961, showed that this traditional method could remove thin deposit layers, including algae, but was not useful for obstinate deposits. We found that a new method using ammonium thioglycolate could be applied to remove obstinate iron-rich deposits. Though ammonium thioglycolate treatment caused loss of gloss inside the aperture, this loss could be prevented by plugging a kneaded eraser into an aperture. Moreover, the new method could clean specimens with little damage of the periostracum. So as to remove deposits with the least damage to shells, 3% w/v sodium hypochlorite was useful for deposits including algae, and 20% w/v ammonium thioglycolate was suitable for cleaning specimens with iron-rich deposits. Degeneration of the microstructure of inner whorls can be avoided by plugged shell apertures with a kneaded eraser in both methods. Shell deposits that are composed of both algae and iron should be treated first with 20% w/v ammonium thioglycolate, and then with 3% w/v sodium hypochlorite to remove the deposits. Appropriate cleaning methods enable accurate examination and long-term preservation of shell specimens.