Insect Collecting – General Preparation of Bugs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,040
    This video will show how to collect insects and discusses general preparation of bugs.

    Gary Hevel: Hi! I am Gary Hevel. We are talking about how to build a bug collection today. Right now we are looking at preparation, general preparation of fairly moderately sized insects and very small insects. First we are going to start with a moderately large insect called a Leaf-footed bug. Its killed yesterday and we are taking it out now. Putting the moth back in the killing jar; this is the bug that we are working with, it's a true bug. There is about 30 different orders of insects and this is called a true bug, in the order Heteroptera. So everything insects in this particular order are true bugs. True bugs are pinned right in the center of the little triangle on a back and then the easiest way to put the insect up the shaft or the pin is this, and be sure to wear a blouse or a shirt in that case because otherwise it hurts quite a bit. But the insect is now pinned at a generally good level on the pin and then it's a matter of just bracing the insect with a number of other pins.

    Sometimes this is easy, sometime difficult. The scientific style is this way. Scientist and collections prefer the insect to be in a very small amount of space because we have lots of insects and space is important. There is no need to have the legs flayed, otherwise if a person does want to they can pull the legs out here and brace them all the way around with pins for a life look at the insects and that could be done. And I am not going to show you everything all around but thats the way that would be done. But for the moment let's put this guy back this way and put it aside. This is a foam board, it's just a Styrofoam board with a sheet of white paper and stained over the years and its very useable in that case. To do a small insect we put them on points like this and the way to make up point. We have a high rag paper here and it's just a matter of getting the point punch. All of the things that I am using today are commercially available and cutting out those, you can also take a pair of scissors and cut the points out little triangles from edge of good quality amount of paper; that we are putting this aside now and trying to get an insect of small size to put on this paper point. So this is a little beetle that came into lights last night. Tweezers are essential for all of this work and we usually position that beetle toward us upside down. So we can work with it that way. Glue is simply any kind of commercial glue, multipurpose glue is best and under the microscope we look carefully. We have dealt with that before. So we get a bit of glue on the end of the point. I like to bend the points just a bit toward the body and then bit of glue, the smaller amount the better. And using another pin for pressing the beetle into the glue point, adjusting a bit and that should do it.

    So still if its not quite straight, we can move it above while the glue is drying. So it takes a bit of experience but thats the finished product in that sense. The other thing we have to do is put a little piece of paper on the bottom of the shaft of the pin indicating the place and time, all of this essential data that person wants to have associated with the insect. So that is finished and that's the way you prepare small beetles, bugs and such. Coming up next, we are going to talk about spreading the wings of butterflies and moths.