First AES event of the year

Published: 24 February 2009

Around 20 AES and Bug Club members attended the event at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History entitled 'How to make an insect collection' on 21st February.

A photograph of AES and Bug Club members at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History

AES and Bug Club members at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History.

The meeting began with a tour of the Hope Entomological Collections, with the curator Darren Mann explaining all about the history of the collection and how it is being curated with a view to the future. This involves the expenditure of a few million pounds on both the rooms the collection is housed in as well as modern, purpose-designed pest-proof cabinets.

We saw the oldest known pinned specimen of butterfly in the world - a Bath White, Pontia daplidice, caught in 1702 near Cambridge. After examining some more rare and choice specimens - including some collected by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, not to mention the largest bumble bee in the world - we had lunch.

After lunch the entomological equipment came out, and after an explanatory talk by Darren and by carefully consulting the handouts available we spent a jolly afternoon practicing pinning, staging and 'pointing' beetle specimens. Darren answered questions to do with problems people had with their own collections before handing out some free equipment the museum had finished with.

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