Liquid Extraction

In liquid extraction the hydrocarbons are extracted from the cuticle by dissolving them in an organic solvent such as hexane or dichloromethane. The insect is usually placed in a glass vial and a minimum of solvent is added to the vial. After circa 15 min the insect can be removed from the vial and the extract can be either analysed directly or dried down to a smaller volume to increase the concentration of compounds present. For the extraction of hydrocarbons a non-polar solvent is preferable as the hydrocarbons themselves are non-polar. Using too polar solvents, such as methanol or ethanol, will only extract more polar compounds or even internal compounds.

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