Texas Tech University

Do you have questions about the insect display?

Why do the insects in the display have pins going through them?

To be able to study insects, entomologists (scientists especialized in the study of insects) need to prepare each specimen by pinning them, using special entomological pins, which come in different sizes. This allows for handling each specimen safely, without the need to touch it, and with low risk of damage to the specimen. It also allows for holding labels with information and organizing specimens in collections.

What are the pieces of paper under some of the insects?

Those are labels with information about the specimen. There might be several labels in a pin with one single specimen.

Locality label: There must be at least one label containing information about where and when the specimen was collected.

Identification label: An additional label with information about the identity of the specimen, indicating the species that it belongs to. 

Barcode label: It contains the catalog number, which is a unique number for each specimen and indicates the record for that particular specimen in our database.

Some specimens in our display have blue labels. When the specimens come back to the collection from the exhibit, we need to put them back where they belong. These blue labels will help us find the cabinet and drawer where the specimen should be put back.

Pinned insect with labels


Do you have other questions about the insect display?

Please, email your questions to our Acting Collections Manager of the Invertebrate Zoology Collection at Jennifer.Giron@TTU. edu.

Natural Science Research Laboratory