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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Specimen Preparation Guidelines by Taxa
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The table below provides a quick reference to SEL's preferred methods for preparaing adult insect specimens from specific taxonomic groups. Links to more specific information and instructions are provided for selected orders.

For a detailed discussion of the techniques involved in preparing specimens, please refer to:
Collecting and Preserving Insects and Mites: Tools and Techniques.


Taxon
Preferred Preparation Method
Acari (mites & ticks) Ethanol or Slide
Auchenorrhyncha (planthoppers, treehoppers, froghoppers, etc.)
Pin or Point
Blattaria (roaches)
Pin
Coleoptera (beetles)
Pin, Point, or Ethanol (depending on size)
Collembola (springtails)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Dermaptera (earwigs)
Pin
Diplura
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Diptera (true flies)
Pin, Point, or Ethanol (depending on size)
Ephemeroptera (mayflies)
Ethanol
Heteroptera (true bugs)
Pin or Point
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, etc.)
Ethanol, Pin, or Point (depending on size)
Isoptera (termites)
Ethanol
Lepidoptera (butterflies & moths)
Pin or Point
Mantodea (mantids)
Pin
Mecoptera (scorpionflies, earwigflies, etc.)
Pin or Point
Megaloptera (dobsonflies, fishflies, etc.)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Microcoryphia (bristletails)
Ethanol
Neuroptera (lacewings, antlions, owlflies, etc.)
Pin or Point
Odonata (dragonflies & damselflies)
Pin
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, & katydids)
Pin
Phasmida (walking-sticks)
Pin
Phthiraptera (lice)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Plecoptera (stoneflies)
Ethanol
Protura
Slide
Psocoptera (plant lice)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Siphonaptera (fleas)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Sternorrhyncha (aphids, scales, whiteflies, psyllids)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Strepsiptera (twisted-winged parasites)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Thysanoptera (thrips)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Trichoptera (caddisflies)
Ethanol
Zoraptera (webspinners)
Ethanol or Slide (depending on size)
Zygentoma (silverfish)
Ethanol

 


Last Modified: 1/30/2006
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