Grygon (grygon) wrote in invertebrates,

Preserving or mounting insects?

A photog who knows I work with dead critters and make jewelry alerted me to a goldmine of dead scarabs and other insects. There were so many dead in one area that there was a death stink in the air.

Every one I collected died naturally by being attracted to the heat and night light (naturally occurring, reflection of the moon) and water source and then getting stuck in the mud. So today I am cleaning them of mud by gently swirling each one around in a bit of water and laying them out on paper towels.

My question is- how do you preserve insects for mounting or jewelry use? The ones I've found in my yard I've just lightly touched with this museum-grade sealer. I've also heard of people who just paint on some clear nail polish on the part that will face the viewers (usually the backs but some of these have gorgeous bellies too!). Some of them have ugly death poses that I've like to fix- do I just break the legs at the joints and reglue them in a more natural pose?

Just wondering if there's any tips and tricks from the pros who know bugs best. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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