I've just recently found myself fascinated by exotic insects like butterflies and moths. I've always liked praying mantids and leaf insects and decided that I would like to collect some of the most colorful species of these insects in the "easy" Riker Mount style display cases with foam cusion inside and glass lids.

I've done some reading online but there is scarce info on specific topics. So I thought i'd check with you folks here to see if anyone is into insect collecting and has any tips they could pass along for the following worries...

Specifically I'm interested in mounting the Mantids, phasmids and leaf insects in life like poses. Spreading Butterflies and moths look to be covered thoughoughly and the process sounds straightforward. But I want to do lifelike positions for the others, such as the raptor and diematic threat display poses for the mantids. I know there are spreading boards for butterflies, is there something special for mantids?

When you put wet paper and a drop of lysol in a relaxing chamber do you put some sort of "holder" above the wet paper to keep the paper envelope with the insect off the wet paper? Do you mist the paper envelope containing the insect when you first set it in the relaxing chamber?

Once you have dried the butterfly specimens and are going to put it in the riker mount how do you remove the thorax pin without damaging the wings. Or positioning of the legs on the other species?

Most sites state to put a few moth balls in each riker mount to keep out fungus and pests. Must these be the really smelly chemical moth balls or can you use the nice smelling cedar-wood ones?

Thanks for any thoughts! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]