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Labelling and Storage

Examples of labels and the information on them written using a waterproof ink pen. Examples of labels and the information on them written using
a waterproof ink pen.


All specimens should be clearly labelled with the locality where it was collected, the collector's name and the date when it was collected. The locality should be a well known place name.

Other information such as habitat, method of collection, time of day or the host plant may also be valuable information to record on your label.

A second label is used to write the classification or name of the insect.

The label(s) are impaled on the pin below the insect. Insects preserved in ethanol should have the label placed inside the jar, not on the outside, written with a pen with alcohol-proof ink.

Labels should be as small as possible and rectangular (suggested size -15 X 8 mm).


Collections need to be protected from light, heat, humidity and attack from other insects. They can be kept in storage boxes or in drawers. Add some naphthalene to the storage container to prevent insect damage. Preferably, insect collections should be kept in air tight containers in an air-conditioned room. This prevents insect attack and evaporation of the naphthalene.

Some of the butterfly collection at the Queensland Museum. Some of the butterfly collection at the
Queensland Museum.

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.