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.