Can a beetle be relaxed for too long? Jul 22, 2021 9:28:20 GMT -8
Post by dchiu on Jul 22, 2021 9:28:20 GMT -8
Someone wanted me to pin their dead female black stag beetle about an inch and a half in length and this is my first time pinning a beetle. It's been dead for about a week or so and I seem to have received it a bit moist (she was wrapped in paper towel but was rinsed off prior, I guess it trapped some water); when i took her out of the jar, the feelers and legs were flexible. No matter what angle or how much force I apply the elytra won't open, and from what I see of videos of other people's relaxed beetles, the wings seem like they should at least unfold a bit to reveal the abdomen without a ton of force. Some even have the wings falling open.
I tried relaxing in very warm water for a few minutes which didn't work, so I put the beetle in a relaxing chamber last night of the bug on a plastic cap sitting on a paper tower with 50:50 isopropyl 70 & tap water.
My biggest concern is, just how long can I safely relax this beetle? It already showed up moist enough to be flexible. Resources I've read simply say something like "relaxing too long (more than 1-3 days) can ruin the specimen" but I don't know what "ruin" is supposed to mean, and if it applies to a thick, tough bug like a beetle or if that's mostly for squishier specimens, or if they mean a museum won't be able to study this thing.
Will it decompose to the point of limbs dropping off or something? Discoloration? If mold is the only risk, I don't really mind, my only concerns are keeping the bug in one piece and successfully posing it's wings. Thanks.
Additionally, is the relaxing process necessary in terms of being able stick the body pin through? Is a dry beetle at greater risk of cracking or breaking when stabbed with the pin?