A Guide To Mounting Insects on Pins

Adults from most insect orders are normally mounted on pins.  Exceptions are soft-bodied adults (e.g. Isoptera) or very tiny adults (e.g. Thysanoptera) that are preserved in alcohol in vials.   Small Adult Specimens (too small to put a pin through without destroying it) are mounted on triangular points as shown in the video “Mounting Small Insects”

Correct Location of Pin For Various Insects


Large Insects

-For general pinning see “How to Pin an Insect” (above); for spreading wings of most Lepidoptera and Odonata see “Instructions for Spreading Insect Wings
-remember the 1 cm “handle” (i.e. don’t want specimen too high or too low on pin)
-Where exactly the pin goes for each insect type is shown in the “Correct Pin Position” tab (above)
-QUESTIONS?  See Lab 1 Exercise on the Moodle site

Small Insects

-See video on “Mounting Small Insects“.
-Adult insects too small to pin may be glued to pinned paper points (available in lab).
-Use clear nail polish as glue to firmly attach the bent tip of the point to the insect’s right side just above the middle right leg (mesothorax)
-The insect should be dorsal side up.
-If you use too much glue or glue your insect to the top of the point, you may be covering up characters that will prevent identification
-QUESTIONS?  See Lab 1 Exercise on the Moodle site.