Starting a collection - Coleoptera
How to - Beetle with wings open
Some people like to mount their beetles with their wings open. 
Here are some easy to follow instructions.

Moving Elytra

Hold your beetle firmly and with your left thumb, gently lift the elytra on one side. The elytra actually lock into each other when the beetle isn't flying, which gives the elytra a waterproof seal when closed. 

Raising Elytra

You may have to gently lift and pull the elytra several times, before they free up and you can get at the wings underneath. Take care doing this as you don't want to crack the elytra.

Manipulating wing

Now that you can see the wings, grab the leading edge and gently pull the wing out from under the elytra. As you pull it out it will automatically unfold as you see here. Work the wing back and forth until it is quite free and easy to move. Repeat the process for the other side.

Setting legs in position

Place the beetle on your foam board and set the legs into the desired position. This will help to hold the beetle in place while you are manoeuvring the wings. Because you are using a flat board, you will require another piece of foam (or balsa wood) that matches the depth between the board and the base of the wings. This additional board will bring the wings up to level, and your specimen will look much nicer when you have finished.

Setting Right wing into correct position

Now pin this extra piece to the main foam board with two long pins, this will hold it in place. Move the left wing up into the desired position and hold in place with your finger. You won't hurt the wing as beetles have no scales on their wings to rub off.

Left wing in position

Cover the wing with some tracing paper and pin around the edge of the wing, This will hold the wing in place while it is drying.

Preparing to set right wing in position

Repeat the process for the right hand wing, and don't forget to pin the extra mounting board in place to stop it moving. Now finally move the antennae into position and cross pin so that they are held in place. Check that all the legs are in the required position.
Finished Goliath with Wings Spread

If the wings are slightly in the wrong position, you do not have to remove the paper. Just pull out the two pins that hold the extra block in place and move this block into the required position. Because the wings are held to this, they will move at the same time. Be careful that you only move the block a small distance at a  time. Don't forget to replace the two long pins to hold the block in position after you have finished.

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