Woo-hoo! The Insect Collecting Guide (644R) is now available! Want to take a look? Sample pages for online viewing are here.
Copies are available through local OSU Extension offices and online at the Extension Publishing store. (Ohio residents get the best price when they order and pick up their purchases through local Extension offices.)
Other OSU Extension Insect Collecting Resources
From Exploring Our Insect World
Our previous insect books became outdated but did have some unique information about collecting. Here are those pages:
- 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 Insects and Other Arthropods Small or soft insects cannot be mounted, but they can be preserved. See how with these instructions. (1 page)
Video: How to Preserve Insect Specimens: Pinning, Pointing, and Storing in Alcohol
To collect insects, you have to preserve them. Learn more about pinning, pointing, and storing in alcohol from an entomologist who does all three.
Video: How to Spread a Butterfly
Butterflies are some of the most appealing insects to collect. Find out how to show them off with step-by-step method for spreading butterfly wings.
Video: How Scientists Use insect Collections
Scientists use insect collections to learn more about them, but also to learn more about technology and our planet. After all, insects are some of the most successful animals in the world!
Favorite Resources from Other Universities
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
Your Insect Collecting 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 here are current as of March 1, 2022, but may have changed since then.
|Description (Qty.)||Catalog No.||Price|
|Featherweight Forceps, Wide Tip (1)||4750||$7.77|
|Entochrysis Insect Pins, Black, Size 1 (1)||1203B1||$7.41|
|Entochrysis Insect Pins, Black, Size 2 (1)||1203B2||$7.41|
|Magnifier, Double Lens, 10X, Plastic (1)||1129G||$2.37|
|Pinning Block, Three Step (1)||1144||$2.81|
|Spreading Board, Styrofoam, Variable Groove (1)||1024P||$2.88|
|Student Insect Net, 18" Handle, 12" Ring (1)||7112NA||$18.53|
|Folding Insect Box, Foam Pinning Bottom (6)||1002FX||$43.17|