I found this pretty bumblebee in a parking lot yesterday. It was quite dead so I picked it up and carefully brought it home in a napkin to draw. I set it on a few hydrangea blossoms under my magnifying lamp, trying to see all the details but it was really hard to differentiate all the various black fuzzy things. I guess a larger magnifier is needed.
I was thinking about saving it to study it some more, but when I researched preserving insect specimens I got a little creeped out. First you’re supposed to put it in a “relaxing chamber” if they have rigor mortis (ick, just typing that gives me the heebie jeebies) to soften them up a bit so you can spread them out and pin them on a board and then you have to keep them warm and dry (so they don’t get moldy I suppose).
For now I’ll put him (or is it a her?) back in its little jar and think some more about whether I’m really cut out for entomology vs. etymology which I love and is much less messy and gruesome.
- Entomology: study of insects (from Greek entomos cut up) + logia “study of’” from logos “speech, oration, discourse, word”
- Etymology: study of the history and origins of words (from Greek etumo “true sense” + logia (see above)
Yep, I guess I’d rather “cut up” words than insects! But if you have experience or knowledge about preserving dead bugs for drawing purposes, I’d love to hear your advice.