ENTOMOLOGICAL COLLECTION EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS
1. Aerial (or sweep) insect nets. Nets should be
15-18" in diameter with wooden handles 24-36" in length (or
2. Collection vials. Screw cap type with
neoprene cap inserts (4-dram size). Kill jars. Commercially available insect killing
jars filled with ½" of plaster (to absorb the ethyl acetate) are best, but any
wide-mouth jar will suffice. If a commercially produced kill jar is not available, simply
use paper towels or cotton balls to absorb the ethyl acetate.
3. Feather-weight (or light touch) forceps.
These light tension forceps are commercially available from most biological supply houses.
They allow collection of the delicate and soft fly larvae without damage. Typical forceps
can be used if caution is exercised, but if too much force is applied the insect larvae
collected for rearing purposes can be killed.
4. Plastic "yogurt" or "bait"
containers (16-64oz in size). For use in collecting and shipping larvae.
5. Aluminum foil for constructing a pouch that will hold the live larvae and
their food source during shipment (pre-cut potato wrappers work well).
6. Vermiculite to fill the bottom of the larval containers to allow for
migration, and to absorb excess fluids during shipment. If vermiculite is not
available, sand or dirt from the death scene will suffice.
7. Plastic specimen containers (4-8oz size).
8. Paper labels (non-adhesive, heavy bond paper) for labeling and placement
inside of the collection containers (both preserved specimen and live specimen containers)
9. Paper labels (adhesive), for labeling and placement on the exterior of
collection containers (both preserved specimen and live specimen containers).
10. #2 graphite pencil for making labels. Do not use ink! (The preservative
fluids will cause the ink to smear and not adhere to the paper).
11. Small hand trowel or garden spade for soil sampling and digging for migrating
larvae or pupae in outdoor death scenes.
12. Thermometers. Digital is preferred, but dial type, mercury, or alcohol types
13. 35mm SLR camera, lens, and flash for on scene macrophotography of insects.
Also, a standard 35mm lens should be used for general scene photographs.
14. Ruler or other measuring device for showing scale in photographs.
15. Preservation and collection chemicals (In particular ethyl alcohol, ethyl
acetate, and KAA).
16. Paper towels. For use in kill jars and for cleaning utensils.
17. Disposable gloves.
18. Sifting screens for processing soil samples for insects and insect artifacts.
19. Entomological Death Scene Form.
20. Shipping containers. Styrofoam containers with lids are best as it offers
good insulation from temperature extremes. However, corrugated cardboard boxes are cheap,
common, and widely used.