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Pinning And Preserving A Collection

Method of pinning different kinds of insects.

After the insects, have been caught and killed, they should then be prepared for the permanent collection. Most insects such as wasps, beetles, flies and grasshoppers should simply have a pin thrust through their bodies until they are two-thirds the way up on the pin and then put them away in a box. Such forms as butterflies and moths make a muc

better collection if the wings are spread so as to bring out their gaudy markings. In order to spread butterflies' wings, one needs a spreading board, which can be made in ten minutes by taking a pine board two feet long, and six inches wide and on this nail two strips an inch thick, so that there is a crack between them. The crack should be half an inch wide at one end and a quarter of an inch wide at the other end, and in the bottom of it press strips of cornstalk pith so as to have something soft in which to stick the pins. After a pin has been stuck through the body of a dead butterfly between the wings, it is then pinned in the crack so that the back of the butterfly is on a level with the strips. Then the wings are drawn forward until they stand straight out from the body when they are pinned down by means of strips of paper and left to dry a few days until they become perfectly rigid. In this way a most beautiful collection can be made very easily, but where time and materials are not available, simply pin them up like other insects, leaving the wings to hang as they will. After the specimens are pinned they should be put away in cigar boxes in the bottom of which is pinned or pasted a layer of cork or corrugated paper similar to that which comes between glass fruit cans. These make ideal cases for keeping small collections as the odor of tobacco helps keep pests from getting in to destroy the collection.

Home-made spreading board for spreading butterflies and moths.

Cigar box with strip of corrugated paper in bottom used as case for keeping pinned insects.