Interested in insects?
Insects are always fun, but they are not always this fun! This project guides you through “entomology” basics like insect types and parts, how to catch insects, and why they are so important to us. Make your own collection of 30 insects! 2018. Beginning level. State fair eligible.
How to Pronounce Insect Orders
Follow the link and click on the audio button.
Dig a little deeper into the world of insects by learning to love a caterpillar, recognizing relatives of insects, building a new trap, and identifying friendly predators. There’s more too! Your collection at this level is 40 insect specimens. 2018. Intermediate level. State fair eligible.
These activities take you to expert level as you dissect a grasshopper (yes, you read that right), explore insect history, investigate trapping, and welcome “beneficials.” Anyone want a room in the bee hotel? Finish with your own collection of 50 insect specimens. 2018. Advanced level. State fair eligible. Coming soon!
644R Insect Collection Guide
Unfortunately, this how-to resource is not yet ready for publication. In the meantime, we scoured the web and found fantastic resources you can access right here. Here are our favorites:
Purdue University Youth Entomology
This site has pages of articles written especially for 4-H members. The section called How to Preserve Insects covers pinning large insects, pointing smaller ones, and storing ones with soft-bodies in liquid. Be sure to check out the How to Pin a Ground Beetle video.
Insect Hunter Jason Thomas has a YouTube channel with fun and informative videos. Start with Intro to Insect Collecting Basics for Kids (Episode 1), and then keep your eyes open for links to episodes 2 through 5.
NC STATE Agriculture and Life Sciences
Don't know what "pinning" and "pointing" are all about? Watch the two videos at A Guide to Mounting Insects on Pins for short, easy-to-follow explanations of both.
Oregon State University
The Ohio State University
Of course, our own previous insect books were pretty good too. Prefer to stick with the collecting information in those books? Here are the pages about collecting:
- Exploring Our Insect World I--Collecting Insects Includes sections on where to look for insects, making and using a collection net, and making and using a killing jar (6 pages)
- Exploring Our Insect World I--Displaying Insects Includes sections on pinning, making and using a pinning block, pointing small insects, making a using a spreading board, labeling insects, making a collection box, identifying insects, making a glass top display case, and labels (16 pages)
- Exploring Our insect World II--Key for Determining Order of Insects Once you understand this key, identifying insects is easy, or at least easier! (4 pages)
- Exploring Our Insect World II--Relaxing Dry Specimens If your specimens are fragile because they are dried out, you can moisten them so they are easier to mount. (1 page)
- Exploring Our Insect World II--Preserving Immature Inects and Other Arthropods Small or soft insects cannot be mounted, but they can be preserved. See how with these instructions. (1 page)
Your Insect Collection Kit
This list of necessary insect collecting equipment includes all the basics for a smooth and expert start. We've included the catalog number for supplier, BioQuip, but other suppliers like Carolina Biological Supply Co. and NASCO are good too. Prices may vary slighty from those listed below.
|Description (Qty.)||Catalog No.||Price|
|Featherweight Forceps, Wide Tip (1)||4750||$5.40|
|Entochrysis Insect Pins, Black, Size 1 (1)||1203B1||$5.15|
|Entochrysis Insect pins, Black, Size 2 (1)||1203B2||$5.15|
|Magnifier, Double Lens, 10X, Plastic (1)||1129G||$1.65|
|Pinning Block, Three Step (1)||1144||$1.95|
|Spreading Board, Styrofoam, Variable Groove (1)||1024P||$2.00|
|Student Insect Net, 18" Handle, 12" Ring (1)||7112NA||$12.75|
|Folding Insect Box, Foam Pinning Bottom (6)||1002FX||$30.00|
Card Points and Labels
Just for Fun. Are you a Buckeye fan? Visit the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University website for a video of Termite Script Ohio.