Labeling Your Insects

Labeling Your Insects


After you have pinned an insect, make out a date-locality-collector label to put with the insect. You can get blank labels, which are printed on cardboard, from your 4-H project leader or county Extension agent. The example shows you how the labels are to be filled out. If the insect was not collected in Kentucky, use the back of a printed label to record the date-locality-collector information.

Use a fine-pointed pen, called a crow quill pen, and India ink to fill in the labels. Ball-point pens and pencils are too coarse or smeary to do a neat job, but a micro-point roller ball pen might be acceptable.

It is usually a good idea to fill in a label while it is still attached to the label sheet. If you cut the label out first, it is harder to hold in place while you write on it because it is so small.

After you have completed a label and cut it out, attach it to the pinned insect. The dot at the center of the label shows where the insect pin is inserted. Line the label up so it is parallel to the insect's body and can be read from the left side of the insect. Lining up the date-locality-collector label in this way better protects the insect from damage and also takes up less space. It will also allow the "Common Name" label to be read more easily when it is put on the pin.