Pinning Butterflies

This summer our family has taken an interest in butterflies.  After finishing a unit study on their metamorphosis we were ready to start our own family collection.  We began with some critters we caught in our own front yard- this Orange Sulphur below and a lovely Common Buckeye.img_7078

My husband has been assisting a student with a butterfly project this summer and had the necessary materials on hand- a pinning block and pins, small wax paper bags, and of course the death jars.


The pinning board is made out of balsa wood and soft pine

A few weeks ago when we checked out many books about butterflies and insects we memorized their body parts.  So when we directed our daughter to pin her butterfly through the thorax she knew just what to do.



The butterflies are pinned so that their wings can dry in the desired position before they are mounted.  Touching the wings directly rubs off the colorful scales.  If you are able to get your butterfly pinned without damaging the scales, and put it safely in an airtight container the colors will stay true for a long time to come.  We recently found a butterfly that was pinned in the 1960s and looked as if it had been caught last week.

This will be a nice ongoing project until the weather puts a stop to it.


Examining the scales with a magnifying glass


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