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Cover the wings

Spreading Butterflies: Step 11. Cover the wings with paper and pins. This is the final step. Be careful not to put a pin through the wing of the butterfly! I use just regular white paper to do this, cut according to the width necessary for the size of the butterfly. I write the date and location on the cover strips. If you don't cover the wings they will likely warp and buckle as they dry out. Don't chance it. I let the specimens dry at room temperature for about a week. Longer for large, fresh-caught specimens. Less time drying time is needed for butterflies that were relaxed from previously dried specimens. I have even used an oven set at 'low' to speed up the process when I was in a hurry. One thing not to try: don't put the pinned specimens out in the hot sun to dry. You will have a mess of warped wings on your hands. After drying you have the pleasure of de-pinning the specimens in reverse order of the steps just outlined. Take your time and use extra care in the de-pinning process. It's easy to break an antennae. After de-pinning add a small data label underneath the specimen using a pinning block. Indicate date of capture, location of capture, and name of collector. Add an extra label, if needed, with the Latin name of the species.

Congratulations! You have passed the course.

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