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Question on cleaning specimens for pinning

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Since 2 of my female D tityus have passed away, I wanted to try to use them as practice for pinning or maybe resin encapsulation. Neither are particularly great specimens, with missing tarsi from constant burrowing during egg laying, but they're my first rhinos, so there is some sentimental value.

 

Both died on their backs (I had leaves in their containers to help against this, but guess you can't win 'em all), and had the very dark elytra D tityus get when in high humidity. I let them dry out in my garage for a couple of weeks, and the color has come back a bit, but their elytra are still very dull and dark. I'm hoping it's just residual sub left on their elytra.

 

What is the best method for cleaning specimens for pinning? Or is there any decent safe way to bring out their color? I'd rather not damage them.

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Not only moisture makes it dark. Grease/oil is usually the main cause after the beetle dies.

 

 

From weak to strong:

 

dish soap/alcohol, acetone, hexane.

 

****use chemicals carefully****

 

before cleaning the dead specimen, use warm water to soften the beetle first, then open the elytra before washing for best results. if you are using just dish soap, you can rub the inside and outside of the elytra a little.

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use warm water to soften the beetle first

 

I've seen several relaxing chambers on here that mention sponges/paper towels and warm water, with a couple days time to relax; is there a simpler or better method to be used?

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people use paper towels for relaxing butterflies.

 

I just toss them in warm water , fill the whole container with water and close the lid so the whole beetle is under water. repeat if the specimen joints are still hard every 30 mins.

 

you have my ig, if you want me to take pictures lol

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I've seen several relaxing chambers on here that mention sponges/paper towels and warm water, with a couple days time to relax; is there a simpler or better method to be used?

I made a youtube video on making relaxing chambers a while ago. It's pretty straightforward, so you probably won't really have to watch it lol.

 

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Ok, so now that I have a third dead D tityus, Im trying to look into this again.

 

Is it normal for elytra to turn almost black during drying? My two females died on their backs, so I thought the exposure to moisture was what made them dark, but theyve gotten even darker now that theyve dried for a long time. My male, however, died right-side-up, and was nice and yellow when I found him, but I can see his color getting darker over the past couple of days as he dries.

 

Im mainly wondering if Im missing something Im supposed to be doing to prevent this from happening.

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Ive had this happen too, I think you just pin them and wait, and eventually theyll turn a grayish yellow with the spots.

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Did they turn black after you pinned them? I have no experience with D tityus but with D granti if you pin it through the elytra, they will often turn black because the oils from their fat deposits come out when you pin it. If that happens with D granti, you have to degrease them with acetone. There are many discussions on the insect forum about degreasing.

If you did not pin it and turned more black after drying out, I don't know what that is. I have not seen that in D granti.

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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but still not having much luck.

Now that all of my D tityus have died and thoroughly dried I wanted to get back on it. None of them have been pinned, but all have turned almost black, even the two that didn’t die on their backs, so I’m thinking the grease from fat deposits as mentioned before is the culprit.

I went ahead and followed the increasing steps Pewrune mentioned, up to the acetone (which is 100% acetone for stripping car paint), but am having minimal luck.

As you can see from the pick below, the right elytron (which is all I worked on) has at least some color now, but still very dull and dark. This is after a pretty thorough wiping with acetone and allowing to dry for an hour.

65453_FC1_F9_F2_4_BE0_B85_C_9062513152_E

If anyone has any additional tips, I’m all ears. I’d definitely like to preserve my male, since these are my first adult rhinos.

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I'm no expert at the degreasing  thing but when I did my D granti, I was told to totally submerge the specimen and let it soak a day or 2. If it's still a little dark, repeat. It did work for most of them but some still stayed black. 

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the grease comes from the inside, so cleaning under the elytra is also recommended. But even with this method, the grease might come back after 3~6 months because the organs inside is still there.

The ultimate way to clean would be....take out all the meat inside the beetle. it's not uncommon for goliathus collectors to do that. However, your specimen will be considered A2.

Its a pain for insect with light/bright colors. A more stable way to make a beautiful specimen with its original color is to kill it when its still young (just started to become active), and you have starved the beetle for more than a week... that way you can make sure the stomach is empty and all muscle tissue is young and fresh.

you will most likely never get a clean specimen with original color if you made the tityus into a specimen after its natural death.

 

 

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