Data collection during the second half of the summer included insect collection and pinning, which I was especially excited about! I used a special vacuum to catch the insect in a plastic tube that I could then transfer to a kill jar. After a few minutes or so the insect would die and I could transfer it to a small glass container filled with ethyl alcohol, to preserve it until I was ready to pin it.
Prior to this summer I had never pinned any insects before so I really had no idea what I was doing. After some instruction I was able to pin a few on my own.
Pinning is a very time consuming and delicate process. One pin is inserted askew through their abdomen and the rest are meant to prop up body parts in place while they spend some time drying. It's incredibly easy to break off the legs if they're not held correctly, so it can get pretty frustrating if legs keep falling off!
But practice makes perfect!