Thread subject: :: Pinning flies and wasps and some curious questions.

Posted by ChrisR on 11-09-2007 13:22

To answer your questions:

Pins: If your specimen is large you might want to do direct pinning with 38mm continental pins (I hardly ever direct pin). But try not to use any pins that are thin enough to bend while you push them into dense foam or cork. Bending pins risk damage to the specimen from either the action of bending or by accidental 'twanging'.

For staging or carding I only use #3 pins or thicker for the main stage-pin because they do not bend when pushed into the hardest of substrates (cork) and they are thick enough to prevent any labels from slipping.

The headless A1 and D3 pins are only used to pin the specimen to the foam stage strip and they seem to be the best sizes for my specimens.

Labels go below the stage, on the stage-pin. Data label goes on first because it should never be removed; the determination label goes underneath. The determination label is just a back-up to go with the specimen when it is moved around - the specimen will go into a store box which will be divided up into blocks of the same species and each block will have an easily-read label showing the name of the flies in that block.

Location: I always try to give a place name (eg. "ENGLAND: Hartslock Reserve, Goring-on-Thames, Oxon") AND map co-ordinates (eg. "SU616796"). I use the British "Landranger" co-ordinates here in the UK because they are readily recognised here and they are shorter than latitude/longitude (UTM?). But abroad I would always give a full lat/long reference.

Date: The date format isn't really important, other than it should be obvious to both Europeans (who usually use dd/mm/yy) and Americans (who usually use mm/dd/yy) and not confusing. In the UK we often put the month in Roman numerals to make this clear.

Name of collector: I would always give the full name, just for clarity - there are 2 dipterists called "Stuart Ball" so any middle-name initials should be given.

Species name: Some are printed (UK tachinids) and others are hand-written (foreign tachinids or any other insect). To print out an A4 sheet of random determinations would mean storing them up for a long time or wasting a lot of paper, and I prefer to attach a det label to the specimen immediately to avoid any confusion later. If this means I have to hand-write it then that's no big problem.

Hope that helps :)

Best wishes,
Chris R.