Starting a Collection

Collecting can be a very rewarding hobby. Get outside and hunt for elusive and diverse insects of every type, admire their coloration, give them a name, learn about their species and keep them forever. Your collection can become a reflection of the places you’ve been the habitats explored.  You will no doubt have a story behind many of your insects, I myself can remember a few dragonfly hunts that ended up with a splash in a mucky pond. Looking to start a collection of your very own? It’s easy to get started and many materials can be substituted so you don’t need to go purchasing a whole bunch of equipment.




jars with lids

collection box or cardboard box with foam insert

ethyl acetate/acetone (nail polish remover)

butterfly net

insect pins (hard to substitute but very cheap)

Field guide

See our guide on Making Kill Jars

Ok, so you’ve got all your equipment and you’re ready to enter the field.  You may be wondering where to start.  Well the great thing about bugs is you can find them practically anywhere!  Go into your backyard or local park, check cracks on the sidewalk, flip over rocks! You’ll find marvelous creatures all around you and all you have to do is look.

Grasshoppers and other jumpies can be found easily in tall grasses. Try sweeping the net through the grass ( basically just hot the plants back and forth but gently!!!).  On the upswing tilt your net upward so your jumpies don’t jump out!