Creating a Plastic Mounted Macroinvertebrate Collection

Information on the resources needed to create your own collection

From Carissa Longo - PA State Parks...

"If you would like to make your own Macroinvertebrate caroplastic/plastomount bug collection, here are the supplies needed.

There are very detailed directions included with the shipment. The chemicals are flammable. Carolina will only deliver them to a school or business (no home addresses). They do not need to be refrigerated. Do not do this project inside without LOTS of ventilation (a fume hood is best). Wear gloves and eye protection. This is a thermic reaction. The substance will get HOT. Also, make sure that your bugs or plants are “dried” in alcohol for at least one week prior to embedding them in caroplastic (if they are not dried, the will explode inside the caroplastic during the thermic reaction).

I used ice cube trays for my Macro collection. Use a plastic container for embedding, but try to find one with a smooth bottom as any recycling symbols that are in the plastic will mold into your plastomount. If you use glass, it will create a nice smooth bottom, but it is very difficult to get the cured item out of the glass container.

Don’t buy a huge quantity of this unless you plan to use it quickly. It does harden over the years inside the container. This is a very time consuming project with layers that need to cure before adding the next layer, but it is worth it. Good luck!"