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Pinning Small Insects

Figure 19 illustrates the card-point method used to mount very small insects. Cut all triangular points to a uniform size, 3/8 to inch long and approximately 1/8 inch wide at the base. Index card paper is a durable and sturdy material to use. A specialized point punch (Figure 19A) can assist in creating a supply of points very quickly. If a punch is available, cut a large supply at one time (Figure 19B), and keep them in a box for future use. This saves time and assures that the card points are uniform. When a point punch is unavailable, a pair of fine pointed scissors will suffice. A series of card points may be cut from the pre-measured template found here.

Mounting insects on card points is not difficult if you follow the correct procedure. Note from Figure 19C that the pin is pushed through the widest part or base of the triangle and the specimen is glued to the point.

First, put the card point on the pin, and place a small amount of white glue or clear fingernail polish on the tip. Use as little adhesive as possible so that body parts will not become unnecessarily covered by glue. Next, lay the specimen to be pointed on its back on the edge of a block or thick book in such a manner that the pin can be turned upside down and the card point pressed lightly against the insect. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ATTACH THE CARD POINT TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SPECIMEN. With a little practice, the specimen can be placed so that it is in the correct position when glued to the point. Slight adjustments can be made once pointed and before the glue dries.

pinning small insects