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Preserving a dead spider.

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by SkyeSpider, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. SkyeSpider

    SkyeSpider Spider Queen Old Timer

    What's the best method to preserve a dead spider to be mounted? I want to make sure I do this right.

  2. Code Monkey

    Code Monkey Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I guess that would depend on how realistic a mount you want. I've read of people having really good results with opening up the abdomen from the bottom and removing the guts and then stuffing with cotton balls, positioning the body, and then allowing it to dry.

    If you don't move quickly, Ts are so massive they begin to decay soon after death and they STINK horribly.

    I'd like to be more help but the only ones I ever kept I just dried without stuffing the abdomen and they didn't look all that great, the others had the unceremonious burial in the trash can. A living T is a beautiful thing, a dead T is a dead, potentially stinky bug.
  3. SkyeSpider

    SkyeSpider Spider Queen Old Timer

    Damn. That's not going to work then. I was hoping to mount the first tarantula I ever caught from the wild (photo in the thread "Shhh... I'm hunting B. vagans"). She was so pretty.

  4. Immortal_sin

    Immortal_sin Arachnotemptress Old Timer

    at the ATS conference, Rhys did a demonstration on preserving them in resin. However, it will cost a bit for the right materials, and it was alot of trial and error for him at first. You might want to freeze her, then email Rhys and ask him for the steps to do it. If it's done right, it looks awesome
  5. bruno56

    bruno56 Arachnopeon

    acetone for 24 hrs
  6. Make an incision on the underside of the abdomen and remove all organs and loose tissue there. Once you're done, stuff it with cotton balls until you have the desired look.
    Once you're finished there, remove the sternum and pull out all of the organs from the cephalothorax. You should also be able to get some or all of the flesh from the coxa to the femur (everything else should be fine left inside). After that put cotton balls (you might have to tear them apart) into the cephalothorax. You shouldn't have to worry about the legs since the area is so small and putting cotton balls in there might wreck the specimen. After that you're good to go and mount the spider!
    I'd also recommend using a face mask and googles while working with them just because of the uritcating hairs. Entomology pins or sowing pins might be useful in putting the spider in the position you want as it dries out.
    If you get lost there are a few videos on YouTube that explain it fairly well.
  7. houston

    houston Arachnopeon

    This thread is from 2002, folks-- I'm adding info for future users, but I'm sure the OP won't get much use 15 years later haha.

    Try this video! It's a bit long but its got the best info and visuals of the mounting vids I've seen. This thread on taxinet is also a good resource for mounting "plump" bugs. If you want realistic poses, I'd read up on pinning true spiders and translate it into a bigger size. The poses might be a bit different but the technique is what's important. Like Arachnomaniac said, you don't need to stuff the legs. They don't have enough "meat" to rot-- they desiccate.

    I would very liberally use rubbing alcohol, as well. It's a cheap and easy preservative, since it displaces the water and then evaporates. It also sanitizes the skin, keeping it from rotting/ slipping (and smelling!). Acetone tends to be a bit more strong smelling, as well as more expensive-- 32 oz of isopropyl alcohol costs 1.99$ at your local pharmacy.

    I personally wouldn't attempt to do resin casting, especially not on such a big spider-- the heat from the chemical reaction cooks it, and it can rot within the resin block which is a mess in every sense of the word. If you want it done in this way, I'd ask around for someone who's done it before and has the equipment and experience to do it optimally.
  8. darkness975

    darkness975 a Dream Within a Dream Arachnosupporter

    Actually, @SkyeSpider recently came back to the Forum, so perhaps this information will prove useful despite the age of the original post.