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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Specimen Preparation Guidelines: Coleoptera
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  • All adult beetles should be pinned or point-mounted.

  • Beetle larvae and pupae should be submitted in 70% ethanol.

  • Large submissions should be sorted by family and/or morpho-species, and all specimens should be individually labeled with collection locality data.

  • Species determinations of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) require dissection of the genitalia. The dissected genitalia should be submitted along with the associated specimen. For detailed information about genitalia preparation, please consult the following publications:

    Skelley, PE. 1993. A method of genitailia preparation and dry preservation for Coleoptera. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 95(2): 131-138.

    Smith, EH. 1979. Techniques for the dissection and mounting of the male (aedeagus) and female (spermatheca) genitalia of the Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera). The Coleopterists Bulletin. 33(1): 93-103.



Properly pinned and labeled specimens

B. Pinning locations of specimen as well as  locality and determination labels

C. A properly point-mounted specimen



Last Modified: 4/25/2006