- Jul 17, 2002
What's the best method to preserve a dead spider to be mounted? I want to make sure I do this right.
Actually, @SkyeSpider recently came back to the Forum, so perhaps this information will prove useful despite the age of the original post.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.
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.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.
I preserved my only dead tarantula in rubbing alcohol and display it on my bookcase.