Equipment

Assorted forceps, pins, and other entomological equipment Assorted forceps, pins, and other entomological equipment

Pins: Entomological pins are most suitable as they are longer and come in variable thicknesses. They are made of stainless steel and do not corrode. Size number 3 is most useful for all but the larger insects. Very small headless pins called minutens or steels are used for very small insects. Sewing pins are used to hold the position of the insect on the setting board but are not suitable for mounting insects as they rust easily.

Setting Boards: These boards hold the wings of drying insects in the correct position. The simplest polystyrene boards can be made from fruit boxes. Grooves are cut in the foam to accommodate the body of the insect. Grooves of different widths can be cut with a sharp knife or a heated wire loop.

Instruments: Forceps, scissors, scalpels and probes can assist in the setting of an insect.

Materials: Rectangles of stiff white cardboard are used to mount very small insects and for labelling, while tracing paper holds the wings of insects such as butterflies for pinning. If you are hoping to keep the collection long-term then acid free card is the best to use.

Australian Entomological Supplies website.

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