Starting a collection - Coleoptera
How to - Setting your specimen
Inserting pin

There are standard ways of inserting the mounting pin into the various groups of specimens. With beetles the pin is always inserted through the right hand side Elytra (wing cover) as shown. It is done this way, so that if at a later date you wish to show a wing of the specimen, you can show the left hand side. However if you wish to display your beetle with both wings open, then you must insert the pin in the small triangular section right in between the two elytra. You can see this triangular part quite clearly to the right of my thumb. With some species the it can be quite hard to insert a pin as the beetles are hard, especially some groups of Buprestidae. If this is the case, you can hold the pin in place with your fingers so that it doesn't slip, then place the butte of your tweezers handle on the top of the pin and press down with some force. This protects the pin head from going through your finger. I bet you will only do this once, because it really hurts.

Hind legs in position
Now pin your beetle to a foam or Balsa Wood board. (Use high density foam not the really soft stuff). Now manoeuvre one hind leg into the desired position and cross pin to hold in place as shown. Then repeat the process for the other hind leg.
Centre legs in position
Repeat the process for the middle legs, as shown.
Placing Antennae into desired position

Repeat the process for the two fore legs. Now it is time to set the antennae in place. I really do think that this finishes off the look of the beetle. The antennae are an important anatomical feature of all insects, and deserve the extra attention. Neatly cross pin them in place with long pins as shown.

Goalith beetle with legs spraed
When finished your beetle should look like this. Of course you can spread the legs into other positions if you like and this, that is all up to personal taste. However this arrangement shows everything in detail and doesn't take up excess room in your cabinet drawers. As you advance with your collection and obtain more and more specimens, cabinet space can become an expensive part of your hobby.

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