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How to Use Appendage Relaxing Fluid

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 relaxing fluid. Relaxing fluid is used for relaxing appendages so the do not break while pinning the specimen. Relaxing fluid IS NOT used for relaxing butterflies or moths for spreading and mounting. For spreading butterflies and moths see How to Build an Insect Relaxing Chamber and Spreading Wings of Butterflies and Moths.


  • Your relaxing fluid will come in a 2oz amber bottle with an eye dropper lid.

  • Place the insect specimen on its back.

  • Liberally apply the appendage relaxing fluid to the appendages and anntennae.

  • Wait 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Ensure the appendages have relaxed by carefully moving the appendages back and forth.

  • Position and or pin your specimen

How to Appendage Relaxing Fluid


Insect collecting is fun. This Lady Beetle is a common insect found in the USA. They like to eat Aphids.

This is a Convergent Lady Beetle. There are many species of lady Beetles found in the US. Some of them are the Asian Multicoloer lady Beetle, The seven-spotted Lady Beetle, and the Twice-stabbed lady Beetle.

lady Beetles overwinter as adults in large groups. They over winter in tree trunks, under rocks and sometimes in the walls of houses.

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