Specimens of Atta cephalotes Various worker castes card mounted on the left. Unwinged and winged females direct pinned on the right.
"Micromoth specimens on minuten pins set with the wings spread and staged on plastazote. Note the long delicate antennae.
A pinned moth imago (not set) and on the left a pupa of the same species part emergent from a leaf mine (dried and pinned).
Pinned pupa and cocoon of Phthorimaea operculella
A large beetle direct-pinned . Note the pin is vertical and transfixes the right elytron.
Lateral pinning. Museum Koenig.
A tiny wasp glued to a card point transfixed by a standard continental insect pin (out of focus bottom centre)
A small empid glued to a card point by the right wing
Sciapus nervosus glued to a card point
A carded beetle.
Carded specimen.Showing spacing.
Card "point" mounting
Staged specimen.Showing spacing and determination label.
Lateral direct pinning.The wing and elytron on the left side “open” to show the venation.
Set specimen of Dolycoris baccarum .Wings left side opened right forewing opened, right hind wing folded.
Insect galls, Polistes nest and insects in amber
Mounted larval exoskeleton of Hyles euphorbiae.
Direct pinned Cassidini with hand-written labels
Printed Data labels. Removed from a pin. Note the holes.Labels are rarely removed and replaced in the original order on the pin.
Encarsia accenta holotype slide.
Point.A point is a triangular piece of white card cut with a point punch. A pin is inserted through the broad base of the triangle and the tip is bent with forceps at a right angle. A tiny amount of glue is placed on this bent tip and this is then applied to the right side of the insects thorax . A correctly pointed specimen has the body horizontal when the pin is vertical, with the long axis of the insect at right angles to the point.
A moth on a minuten staged on an entomological pin
Entomological pins. Continental pins, so called because they are used internationally by museums and collectors are made of stainless or black enamelled steel. They are (except 7) a standard length (40mm) and differ in thickness only. The sizes are 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 000 are the thinnest size 7 is a very strong pin and longer (52mm) It is for very large beetles.The length allows for several data labels. The pins have round nylon heads or solid metal heads.
Minuten.Short(12mm long) insect pins without heads, used for double mounting (staging) very small insects.
Staging.Specimens pinned on their sides with minuten (lateral pinning) or dorsum upright (direct pinning) are pinned into a stage. A stage is a thin strip of high density foam (plastazote) supported in a horizontal position by a size 3 entomological pin .The stage is positioned half way up the vertical stage-pin, to allow room underneath for labels and to allow handling without damage.Staging side-pinned (at an angle so as different features are damaged on the two sides of the thorax) protects small specimens and displays most features. The stage-pin is easy to manipulate when moving the specimen and the stage absorbs vibrations.
Glass-topped wooden “insect trays” in a steel unit at La Specola Zoological Museum in Florence.
Units in Brussels
Insects systematically arranged in an “insect tray” at La Specola
Part of a beetle collection
Museums use a system of air-tight, steel cabinets and the wooden, glass-topped drawers shown here. Standard-sized, card boxes called unit-trays fit in the drawers. The unit-trays are lined with plastazote foam.
A beetle collection
National Museum of Natural History, insect collection, Washington D.C., USA