Preserving a dead spider.

SkyeSpider

Spider Queen
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Joined
Jul 17, 2002
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1,253
What's the best method to preserve a dead spider to be mounted? I want to make sure I do this right.

-Bryan
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
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Jul 22, 2002
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3,786
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.
 

SkyeSpider

Spider Queen
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Jul 17, 2002
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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.

-Bryan
 

Immortal_sin

Arachnotemptress
Old Timer
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Jul 17, 2002
Messages
3,955
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
Holley
 

Arachnomaniac19

Arachnolord
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Aug 23, 2014
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654
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.
 

houston

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
39
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.
 

darkness975

dream reaper
Arachnosupporter +
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Aug 31, 2012
Messages
3,854
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.
Actually, @SkyeSpider recently came back to the Forum, so perhaps this information will prove useful despite the age of the original post.
 

Bug Bane

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 18, 2018
Messages
16
What about for smaller spiders like spiny orb weavers. Their colors are nice and bright, yet fade over time, and they’re really small to try to stuff with pieces of cotton balls.
 

Greasylake

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,322
What about for smaller spiders like spiny orb weavers. Their colors are nice and bright, yet fade over time, and they’re really small to try to stuff with pieces of cotton balls.
An airtight container filled with acetone works best according to my biology teacher (who used to work in a lab). According to her the really high concentration stuff, 90%+, keeps the specimen from losing color over time, while other alcohols will bleach the colors and they'll fade after a while.
 

AngelDeVille

Fuk Da Meme Police
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
274
Viking funeral for my babies!

I have seen a few videos on the use of resin, and it really seems quite easy once you get the hang of it.

image.jpeg

I never did understand the twisted undies over old threads, useful information, is still useful over time.
 

Paul1126

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
766
Viking funeral for my babies!

I have seen a few videos on the use of resin, and it really seems quite easy once you get the hang of it.

View attachment 276114

I never did understand the twisted undies over old threads, useful information, is still useful over time.
I preserved my only dead tarantula in rubbing alcohol and display it on my bookcase.
It doesn't go down well with the ladies.
 
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