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throughout the collection — whether they are read from the right or left is a matter of personal preference.

An insect collection should contain some identification labels. How these are best arranged will depend on the size of the collection and the extent to which it is identified. Most collections should be labeled at least to order and family, and the specimens so arranged that a single label can serve for all the specimens in a group. When specimens are labeled to species, an identification label is placed on each specimen or on the first in a group. This label is a plain piece of paper (about an inch square and at the base of the pin) containing the scientific name of the insect, the name of the person identifying it, and the date (month and year) the identification was made.

Boxes for Pinned Insects. Pinned insects are kept in boxes having a soft material in the bottom to permit easy pinning; they can be obtained from a supply house or be homemade. The most common supply-house type is a Schmitt box, a wooden box about 9 x 12 x 2 H in. with a tight-fitting lid and the bottom lined with sheet cork or similar material. Such boxes cost from a few to several dollars. Similar boxes made of heavy cardboard are available from supply houses and cost one half to one third as much. Homemade boxes may be made of wood or heavy cardboard, and the bottom lined with sheet cork, balsa wood, Styrofoam, or corrugated cardboard. The material in the bottom should fit tightly, and if corrugated cardboard is used it should be soft enough to take an insect pin. Large collections may be housed in Schmitt boxes, or in cabinets containing trays or drawers constructed like Schmitt boxes.

Riker Mounts. A Riker mount is a glass-topped box containing cotton, with insects on the cotton just under the glass. Insects spread for mounting in a Riker mount are spread in the upside-down position described on p. 15. Riker mounts may be of various sizes, and also can be purchased from a supply house or be linmp-

The Riker mount. A, a completed mount; B, sectional view showing a specimen in place under the glass.

The Riker mount. A, a completed mount; B, sectional view showing a specimen in place under the glass.

made. Homemade boxes can be made from a cardboard box, a piece of glass cut to fit inside the lid, and binding tape. The box should be about an inch deep; cut deeper boxes down to this depth. Cut out a section of the lid, leaving about a margin around the edge. Covering the lid with tape will improve its appearance. Fasten the glass inside the lid with strips of tape placed so that they do not show from the outside. If you want to hang up the mount put 2 brass fasteners on the bottom and reinforce them inside with tape, then tie a string or wire between them on the outside. Before putting a thick-bodied insect into a Riker mount, tease the cotton to make a small depression for the body. Fasten the lid on the mount with pins or tape.

Specimens in Riker mounts are easily displayed, and the mounts can take considerable handling without damage to the specimens. A repellent can be placed under the cotton to protect the specimens from pests. Riker mounts have 2 disadvantages: only 1 side of the specimen can be seen and many moths will fade after prolonged exposure to light.

Glass Mounts. Glass mounts are similar to Riker mounts, but have glass on both top and bottom and contain no cotton; both sides of the specimen(s) are visible. They generally contain only one or a few specimens, and can be made in various ways. The following procedure is relatively simple:

1. Spread specimen in an upside-down position and fasten legs close to the body.

2. Cut 2 identical pieces of glass for top and bottom of the mount, allowing a margin of at least K in. on all 4 sides of the specimen(s).

3. Cut enough supporting glass to provide room for body of the insect. These pieces will be as long as 1 dimension (usually the shorter) of top and bottom pieces, and a width that will leave a label label

space in center of the mount 2 or 3 times as wide as body of the insect.

4. Clean the glass thoroughly, preferably with a glass cleaner; use a brush to remove lint from the glass.

5. Fasten the pieces of supporting glass to bottom piece with a small drop of cement (such as Duco household cement) on each outside corner; press each supporting piece into position, in line with the edges of bottom glass; remove any excess cement. Allow time for cement on one piece to set before the next piece is added.

6. When the supporting glass is in position, place specimen on the supporting pieces and center it. Put a small drop of cement on the 4 outer corners, then put on the top glass, being careful not to move the specimen. Press this glass down hard and put a small weight on it; leave the weight in place until cement sets (an hour or more).

7. Tape edges of the mount with slide-binding or electric tape; this covers any sharp edges of the glass, and gives the mount a finished look. The label is placed as shown.

Glass mounts are inexpensive, easy to make, and they provide a safe and attractive method for storage and display. If specimens put into these mounts are heat dried or otherwise made pest-free before mounting, they should remain pest-free. Two or more specimens can be put in a single mount by placing one above the other, or side by side (with 3 groups of supporting glass). The use of standard sizes will simplify glass cutting and mount storage.

Plastic Mounts. Plastic mounts may consist of 2 sheets of thick plastic with the insect mounted between them, or a plastic block in which the insect is embedded. If 2 sheets are used, each is bulged out where the insect's body will be, the 2 sheets are put together with the insect between them, and sealed around the edge with acetone or tape. Embedding an insect in a block of plastic is a rather involved process, but the final product is an attractive, durable, and permanent mount. Supply houses offer materials for this type of mounting and instructions for their use.

Protection of a Collection from Pests. Insect collections are subject to attack by dermestid beetles and other pests, which will ruin the collection if it is not protected. Insect boxes can be protected with a repellent such as naphthalene flakes or paradichloro-benzene (napthalene flakes last longer). The repellent in a box of pinned insects can be put in a small pillbox or wrapped in a piece of cloth firmly attached to a corner of the box. The repellent in a Riker mount is placed under the cotton. Collections should be examined periodically for signs of damage, and if pests are detected the collection should be fumigated or heat-treated. It is not possible to put repellent in a glass mount, so take care to make sure that specimens are pest-free when put in these mounts.

Handling Specimens. Insects are very brittle when dry. Careless handling of a pinned specimen can result in the loss of legs, antennae, or other parts. Broken-off parts often can be replaced by use of glue or cement. Experience (and accidental damaging of prize specimens) will impress on the collector the importance of care in handling mounted specimens.

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