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Tools for Insect Collecting

28 Mar
Pinned beetles in a collection box (Coleoptera).

Pinned beetles in a collection box (Coleoptera).

New page up in the techniques section.  Please check out my “Tools for Insect Collecting.”

For the novice bug enthusiast interested in starting an insect collection the options and information available can be bewildering.  Luckily, the hobby is easier (and cheaper) than it might seem.  Here’s my two-cents worth on the best tools to get you started.

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For more techniques for insect collection and rearing, visit the techniques section.

Techniques: Drip Floatation Method (Fire ants)

8 Oct
Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) form a raft after the drip floatation method is employed.

Fire ants form a raft on the rising water after the drip floatation method is employed.

New page up in the techniques section.  Please check out my run-down on the drip floatation method for fire ants.

Although the mounds of fire ants are the most visible part of their home, this structure is used only for regulating the temperature of ants and brood during certain seasons and parts of the day.  A large portion of the nest is hidden from view underground.  The subterranean nesting habits of ant colonies can make the transition from field to lab studies tricky– how does one go about separating thousand and thousands of ants and their delicate brood from a heap of dirt?

In fire ants, the drip floatation method takes advantage of a flood-survival adaptation of the ants to accomplish this task (Banks et al, 1981).

Find more techniques for insect collecting and rearing in the techniques section.

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Techniques: Aspirator

3 Sep
Aspirating insects at a light sheet.

Aspirating insects at a light sheet (Welder Wildlife Refuge).

New page up in the techniques section.  Please check out my explanation of the aspiration technique for collecting small or delicate insects.

Find more techniques for insect collecting and rearing in the techniques section.

Mercury Vapor Lamp and Light Sheet

17 May

 

Light sheet in the woods at night.

Light sheet in the woods at night.

New page up in the techniques section.  Please check out my discussion of the use of light-sheets to attract nocturnal flying insects.

Find more techniques for insect collecting and rearing in the techniques section.

Sweep Netting

26 Apr
Sweeping a field of flowers for insects

Sweep netting in a field of flowers (Welder Wildlife Refuge).

New page up in the techniques section.  Please check out my discussion of sweep-netting as an insect collection technique.

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For more techniques for insect collecting and rearing, see the techniques section.

Spreading Insect Wings

19 Apr
A spread luna moth, with spreading board in the background.

A spread luna moth, with spreading board in the background.

New page up in the techniques section.  Please check out my step by step photo guide to spreading insect wings.

For more techniques for insect collection and rearing, visit the techniques section.