Interactive Insect Collection Lab

Here’s where you’ll start your collection. Have fun!

screenshot of lab

Making an Insect Collection in Real Life videos

In the following videos Dr. Bundy, Professor of Entomology and Director of the NMSU Arthropod Collection, demonstrates how to prepare and create an insect pinning collection. Suggestions for collecting insects found here.

Collection of beetles pinned in box.

Preparing Insects for Pinning

Insects that are dry have to be softened to pin. Watch this guide on how to relax insects to prepare them. NMSU Arthropod Collection

Two insects in a plate.

Setting Up a Relaxing Chamber

After being in the freezer, your insects may be brittle. This video shows you how to create a relaxing chamber to soften your insects. NMSU Arthropod Collection

Holding a pin with a insect.

Mounting and Preserving Insects

When you are ready to make your own collection, watch videos here on how to use a pinning block, and how to pin and point other insects for your board. NMSU Arthropod Collection

Butterfly wings being adjusted on the spreading board

Spreading a Butterfly

Watch this step by step video on how to spread a butterfly to pin to your board. NMSU Arthropod Collection

Cover of PDF has various bugs with the 4-H clover.

Insects Rule The Planet! PDF (intro only)

Review these activities from the New Mexico State University Entomology project. (Ask your 4-H agent if you’d like the whole project book, or would like to enroll.)