02 April 2011

Pinning insects on YouTube

I told my class that I would make a video that reviewed the proper way to pin insects. Well it could use a lot of improvement but here it is!


  1. Nice video - I've been wanting to do something along these lines, more for the particulars of arranging the legs and antennae of a large cerambycid rather than the basics.

    One quibble - since Ento 101 I've heard the adage "point anything too small for a #2 pin". Personally, I find find the gap between what can be pinned with a #2 and what can be easily and quickly pointed to be rather substantial. Pins of #00-1 size are perfect for such, and with the high density plastozoate foam pinning surfaces now available for use in drawers and unit trays, hooking and bending are non-existent problems. I go through approximately 2,000 pins/year - about a third #0, a third evenly split between #1 and #00, and a third #2 used primarily for larger beetles (e.g. May beetle size and larger) and points. All I can say is it works for me, and with nearly 100K specimens in my collection (dominated by smaller beetles) I have yet to hook or bend a pin in the plastozoate foam I use.

    Glad to see you posting again.


  2. I agree with you that with todays pinning surfaces you can use much smaller pins without incident. However, in my class we issue schmidt boxes to the students. About half of these boxes have old fashioned hard composition pinning bottoms that will bend even a number 2 pin if you aren't careful. I probably should have drawn some kind of distinction considering I put it on youtube.