Insect collecting started out as a necessary project for entomology studies. But because of the exquisite beauty that the insects have, collecting these became popular even to those who were not science students. Most insects have hard exoskeletons, so that their appearances are retained even after the insect dies. Because of this special attribute, collecting insects becomes easy and enjoyable with the attractive color and appearances of exoskeletons. This explains why the most popular insect collection is butterflies, followed by beetles.
If you also want to indulge in this hobby, then follow these steps:
- Prepare all the things you need for insect collection. These are the insect net, tweezers, killing jar, relaxing jar, insect pins, display case, insect labels, and specimen jars.
- Start collecting insects. Your collection can be an exclusive butterfly or beetle collection. But you can also include in your collection some bees and spiders. You may catch some insects. But the most difficult can be those that fly. Using a net will make your job easier, especially with a butterfly and other insects that fly.
- Leave the collected insects inside the killing jar at least an hour. This special jar can kill any insects like bees, spiders, or butterflies because it contains spray insecticide, pest control, and other deadly chemicals. The insects can also be killed through freezing.
- Place the insects inside the relaxing jar if you want them to have soft bodies. By that process, you can easily position the insects for better presentation.
- Put each insect inside the specimen jar. This jar can be the display material for the insects. If that's the case, you can choose beautifully designed jars that can exhibit the insects' beauty. Many online stores offer interestingly designed jars for better insect presentation.
- If putting the insects inside the jar seems not so appealing, maybe pinning them on a display board is better. For this, you will need tweezers and pins. Pick the insect up from inside the jar using only your thumb and forefinger. Make sure to hold it only by its sides. Push pins into it, but the top surface should have some space so you can arrange the insects' formation without touching it. Each type of insect needs a special pinning. You can search for more information about that in related articles.
- Add two labels for each insect. The first label will be for identification, which will include the common name, scientific name, and order of the insect. The other label will tell about the date and place of insect capture.
- Take pictures of the insect. It won't take much of your time to take some snapshots of the insects. This way, you can share your collection with online audiences.
Collecting insects is definitely an enjoyable and very rewarding hobby. But there are dangers related to this. One of which is the use of poisonous chemicals like pest control and spray insecticide. The insects may also pose a danger when they are alive or even if they are already dead. Bees, for example, may attack you. The butterfly wing powder can cause eye irritation, also.
It will be better to get acquainted with the dangers of insect collecting so you can prepare yourself for the worst. Many online resources can give you some good pieces of advice. You local entomology group can orient you to the nature of this hobby as well.