Pinning and Labeling Beetles


Beyond posting photographs on iNatualist...

You may still collect beetles if you would like to either keep the beetles for your own purposes or learn to curate them to donate to the University of Minnesota.  The University of Minnesota Insect Collection will still accept your buprestid specimens, but they must be properly pinned and labeled with location and collector’s name.  If you choose to do this, there are many great websites and youtube videos with information on this.  This website from Purdue’s University Extension on Youth and Entomology is especially helpful. 

PINNING:  Basic pinning supplies are inexpensive and available at BioQuip.  I would recommend a pinning block, and size 1, 2, and 3 pins.  You can make your own insect box, or purchase one at BioQuip, too.  Remember to freeze specimens right after collecting them to kill any mildew or mold growth that can develop.  After freezing and before pinning, you will want to put the beetles in a relaxing chamber for a few days so they aren’t brittle prior to pinning. 

LABELING:  Your labels should be on acid-free cardstock (25lb).  This website (The Skeptical Moth) has some good information. The label should include location (County, city, park/school name, and GPS--latitude and longitude).  It should include the date and the collector's name.  See example labels at the top of this webpage.

CONTACT U OF MN INSECT COLLECTION: If you create a buprestid insect collection and want to donate it to the University of Minnesota Insect Collection, you can contact the Insect Collection curator, at [email protected].