Insect Collecting


This folks, is my insect collection! I have been collecting insects since Fall of 2015. My first introduction to collecting and pinning bugs was in a beginner’s entomology class at the U. When I heard we got to go outside and catch bugs animal crossing style (with nets, everyone) I was 100% on board. All of these insects were caught here in the Twin Cities of  Minnesota. I have attempted to label them but it is hard to cut out little pieces of paper that small! I hope to keep collecting in the future, and I have even added some insects as recent as a week ago. Picked up the big bumble bee on the sidewalk- bugs are everywhere!
As you can see a few of the insects aren’t in great shape, mostly because I had to drag this from my classroom in St. Paul all the way home to my house in Minneapolis. They held up better than expected, though. Holding this carefully on the bus made for an arduous journey.
Learning how to capture and pin these little guys was surprisingly easy. We used kill jars with ethyl acetate, a compound that can kill bugs in a few minutes. Not as potent as cyanide, but it is much less dangerous! It does assure that they die quickly and without much struggle. I also learned that all insects have different locations they should be pinned in depending on their order. Some insects and spiders should be preserved in alcohol rather than being pinned because of their exoskeletons and/or body composition.



If you ever want to know more about insects and pinning or just want to chat about it feel free to comment!

Photos by Megan L.


2 thoughts on “Insect Collecting

  1. Hey! 😀
    I fall in love with your collecting insects post! I want to learn everything about it! How do you pin them exactly, how do you catch them right and are there any rules or duties you need to be aware?


    1. Thanks for your comment!

      In terms of pinning: various insects have differing rules on where to pin them. Some shouldn’t be pinned at all! Such as spiders (Which aren’t even insects but psh, whatever, they’re close), those need to go in jars of an alcohol/water mixture.

      I catch them with a net or a jar, I use a killing jar which kills them really quickly so no pain for my bug friends.
      Some areas probably have rules and obviously private property hunting is a no-no, but for the most part people don’t mind if you bug hunt.
      You can find more info here and by Google-ing “entomology pinning” and things like that.

      Have fun!


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