Insects often become rigid and brittle following death. This can make it difficult for entomologists to set specimens correctly without damaging them. In order to facilitate the setting and pinning of insects they are placed in a relaxing box.
A relaxing box is an air tight container that contains a wet sponge or damp sand. Insects are placed in the box for 24 hours or more and the humid atmosphere relaxes the exoskeleton allowing the insects to be set without damage.
A photograph of an insect collection. Insect are often relaxed in a relaxing box before being set.
Photograph by Debivort licensed under Creative Commons.
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