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Bone Preparation and Taxidermy

  • What is bone preparation with the help of dermistid beetles?
  • When is this method being used?
  • Where do the animals come from?
  • Conservation of species
  • How do I hand in my animal for preparation, what state must it be in?
  • Who is interested in animal skeletons?
  • Production of complete animal preparations (dermoplastics), do you also do that?

Bone preparation with dermistid beetles – what is that?

Small skulls and skeletons are denuded with the help of dermistid beetle larvae. Compared with the methods used for larger skeletons this method has the advantage that ligaments and sinews remain and that the skeleton stays conjoined. The so gained ligament skeleton is of great scientific significance because the bones have not been taken out of their natural position.

When is this method being used?

Working with dermistid beetles is suitable for the denudation of smallest animals up to the size of a squirrel, it also allows the pulping of tiniest skulls and skeletons which is not feasable with other methods.

The method is also eminently suitable as an addition to other methods of maceration (maceration = pulping), e.g. the one with the help of enzymes, used for larger animals. Here the preparation with dermistid beetles leads to impressive results where the coherence of bones is wished for, e.g. tracheas, lingual bones or skeletal bony rings of larger birds or reptiles.

The dermistid beetle preparation also enables the uncovering of bones of very small animals whose skeletons still show a high amount of cartilage.
Cartilage gets lost with other methods of maceration; the dermistid beetles however, do not like eating it so that it remains.

Where do the animals come from?

We do not take any endangered species from nature.
We are authorized to accept animals of specially protected species found dead under consideration of the valid Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and to prepare them for science, research and teaching.
On delivery of your own dead animal proof of provenance is compulsory.

Animals killed in accidents mostly have bone fractures which we however restore, so that these injuries do not necessarily mean a reduction in price for the skeleton or the skull in question.

We offer bone preparation with dermistid beetles and the construction of your animal skeleton, if wished for also with a suitable show-case.

Conservation of Species


The preparations stem from animals from captive breeding, zoo animals or animals found dead. We do not take any endangered species from nature for preparation purposes.

Strictly protected animals are accepted in accordance with the valid regulations for the Conservation of Species (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz / Federal legislation on the Protection of Nature; Bundesartenschutzgesetz/Federal legislation on the Conservation of Species) and handed out with registration numbers, respectively EU certifications (Washington Convention for the Conservation of Endangered Species). Provided equivalent breeding proofs are put forward, we also work for private clients.

An exceptional permission from the responsible authority is needed for the preparation of strictly protected species; this permission is only given for scientific and research purposes.

Please look here for information about the protectional status of the individual animal.

How do I hand in my animal for preparation, what state must it be in?

Animals to be pulped by dermistid beetles must not have been poisoned, e.g. rats and mice that have been killed by rat poison are not eligible because the poison is equally lethal for the beetles.
The animal to be prepared should be as fresh as possible and have only a few injuries because bone fractures are very hard to restore with small animals, furthermore bones tend to take on discolourations, e.g. from blood.

You can hand in or send us your animal after previous arrangement made.

For that the animals should be deep-frozen, in a standard freezer-bag.

Additional insulation materials, e.g. paper or packaging chips can be put around the bag.
Please watch the time the post needs for delivery and do not send anything over the weekend. An express dispatch is necessary for individual and small animals, especially in summer.
Do not forget to write down your sender and put in the following information concerning the animal:

  • species (if known)
  • place and time of the find
  • name and address of the finder (if different from sender)
  • circumstances of death
  • eventually breeding proof or a copy of documents showing the right of possession
  • for strictly protected species : Copy of the exceptional permission for preparation to be applied for at the Land or district authority in charge.

We reserve the right to refuse the acceptance of animals if we have doubts as to the observance of the regulations concerning the conservation of species or if the animal is unsuited.

Who is interested in animal skeletons?

We work mainly for museums, institutes, organizations for the Protection of Nature and schools who all make use of our products in research and teaching, but with different emphasis. Moreover there also are private people, mostly breeders and animal owners, who are interested in the anatomy of animals and whom we gladly oblige under due observation of the Conventions on the Conservation of Species.

Production of complete animal preparations (dermoplastics), do you also do that?

We do not make preparations of the whole animal; yet we cooperate with different zoological preparators who have specialized in different animal groups.
We’ll gladly establish a contact to those colleagues for you.

Further information can be found
- in Germany, on the homepage of the “Verband Deutscher Präparatoren e.V.” (Association of German Preparators)
- or in Switzerland, “Verband Naturwissenschaftlicher Präparatorinnen und Präparatoren der Schweiz” ( Association of Scientific Preparators in Switzerland) .
The members of these associations have an acknowledged qualification and the possibility of regular further training. You should be able to find a professional preparator with sufficient experience here.