Easiest Way To Make An Insect Collection

Easiest Way To Make An Insect Collection

The best way to learn more about insects is by watching them at close quarters. This can be done by making an insect collection. The easiest way to make an insect collection is by collecting insects from your garden and the place around your house. Look for insects on flowers and rotting leaves. You can even leave your porch light on at nights to attract the nocturnal insects. You can also look for insects near ponds and streams.

Fields are another place to find insects. Here, you should swing your net carefully along the top part of the grass to collect insects. This method of collecting insects is known as the sweeping method. (See Reference 1)

The collected insects should be place into containers so that they do not escape. Then using a magnifying glass, observe the insects carefully. This will allow you to discern the external physical features of the insects. Use this opportunity to see how the insect moves or how it uses its wings to fly. These physical features will help you identify the insects, but you will still need a guide book for this. In case you do not know what to feed a live specimen, then it is best to set the insect free after 1 to 2 days. (See Reference 1)

In order to make an insect collection, the live insects would first have to be killed. This can be done by putting the insects into a glass jar and introducing a few balls of cotton soaked in rubbing alcohol. One jar should contain 2 to 3 medium sized insects, or 4 to 5 small sized ones. The insect will take around few minutes to an hour to die based on the size. In case of butterflies, it is best to stun them first by pinching their thorax. This will prevent the butterflies from banging against the jar and damaging their wings. The insects with wings should be spread on a spreading board and then each wing should be pinned down with the help of a strip of paper. This will ensure that the insects are held flat while they dry out. (See Reference 1)

Once the insects are dried out, you would need to store them properly. You can use a glass case or a cardboard box to house the insects. Pin it by piercing the upper middle right part of the back of the thorax in case of grasshoppers and similar sized insects, or the abdomen region in case of beetles and similar insects. Have forceps handy to help with smaller sized insects. If the insects are really small in size, then glue them onto a card and then pin this card with the rest of the collection. In case you do not want to pin the insects, the set it on batting. (See Reference 1)

Once you have pinned all the insects, it is time to make name cards to identify each specimen by its scientific as well as common name. Attach the name card to the pin that is holding down the specimen.

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