Prior to pinning the
specimens, they must be relaxed. Fresh specimens are usually relaxed
already if you spread them right away. If you store them for spreading
later, or if you have purchased
dried specimens, they will need to be relaxed. One method is using a
relaxing chamber. A relaxing chamber is a container which has a very
high humidity. The relaxing chamber would consist of the following:
A plastic (shoe box sized) box, with a top which
fits tightly onto the lower portion.
A sponge which is wetted, and located on the
bottom of the plastic box.
A wire mesh covering the sponge so that the
butterflies do not actually get wet. Butterflies which get wet can
A paper towel covering the wire mesh.
Moth crystals ( paradichlorobenzene ), which is
kept inside the Relaxing Chamber to keep fungi and molds from
A paper towel on the underside of the top
of the box.
Specimens which are placed inside this relaxing
chamber become pliable, and can be pinned without damaging the parts of
How to Build an Insect Relaxing Chamber