A Guide To Making Insect Labels

Importance of Labels

With proper documentation an insect collection serves as a type of scientific record, recording the presence of each specimen at a particular date and location.  The oldest pinned collections are over 300 years old!

These records have proven valuable in research into topics such as climate change and population dynamics.

Specimen Labels for ENT 425

  • Use the temporary labels provided with your equipment (and on Moodle) for each specimen until family-level ID labs are completed
  • During Labs 10 and 11,  begin adding permanent labels to your specimens using the Permanent Label Form provided in Moodle.  Print the filled out form using only a laser printer (i.e. permanent ink).
  • 1 Date/Location label and 1 Identification label are required for each specimen; 1 Ecological Category label is optional for individual specimens (i.e. maximum of 3 labels per specimen, one of each type)
  • Correctly insert pin into each label (i.e. different for pinned vs. pointed specimens). See remaining tabs, and video at top of page.
  • Put specific alcohol specimen labels (see Moodle) into vials with specimens
  • Correctly orient your specimens and labels (see “Specimen-Label Orientation” tab)

Specimen-Label Orientation


Date/Location Label Example


Identification Label Example


Ecological Category Label Example


For Alcohol Specimens Only:


IMPORTANT:  Print these labels using a laser printer only.  Ink from any other printer will be soluble in alcohol and your label will disappear.