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Placing Insects in Boxes

Specimens within an order are neatly grouped above the order label. Pinned specimens face towards the top of the box (Figure 25). Pointed specimens face to the viewer's right, but their labels are parallel to the labels of the pinned specimens. Although no specific size of the order label is mandated, most attractive labels are approximately 2 inches long and 5/16 inch wide. A series of these labels is available to cut and use in the collection here. Pin them directly to the floor of the box, and arrange all specimens representing that order in neat rows in a rectangular area above the label. (Always arrange the insects across the length of the box.)

placing insects in boxes

Figure 25

When secondary identification labels (common name, family, etc.) are used, they are smaller or a different color than order labels and also may be pinned to the floor of the box. Additional labels showing host or habitat may be placed on the pin on which the specimen is mounted, but below the primary label (see Figure 23).

Photos of actual insect display boxes are provided to illustrate what is expected in an insect collection. Objectively critiquing other displays can help improve your own. Asking for advice and tips from others who have experience in insect collecting is also valuable. Above all, remember that practice is key. As old specimens are culled and replaced with newer and better mounts, the collection will improve. The best insect displays are usually a result of several years of persistent insect collecting, practice in mounting, and attention to detail in displaying the collection.

insect display box

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