Posted by mcft on 9th September, 2016
It's been a long summer collecting insects for second year MCFT students, but now they can begin the pinning and presentation phases of their insect collection projects. Each summer students are responsible for collecting 40 different insects from 7 different orders (Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Odonata, Orthoptera). During the first lab students generally focus on adjusting larger insects (moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, etc...) in preparation for pinning later, and practising proper pinning on smaller insects (beetles, flies, etc...). It looks messy now, but a good insect collection will be clean and well organized.
For someone who isn’t familiar with insect orders the names above might be a little confusing. Orders are used by entomologists to classify different types of insects, and all insects within a given order will share certain structural characteristics. You’re probably already familiar with many bugs that belong to these orders:
Hemiptera - True Bugs
Coleoptera - Beetles
Lepidoptera - Butterflies and Moths
Diptera - Flies
Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, Wasps, Sawflies
Odonata - Dragonflies
Orthoptera - Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids
When it comes to the bug collections, students are marked on the quality of their specimens, their labels, the pin location, and the overall presentation. The assignment represents 20% of their Entomology and Pathology course grade. Students are allowed to keep their assignments as a reference tool for the future.
For a great look at the different insect orders, including pictures, check out: www.bugguide.net