Insect Collecting Information

Techniques / Suppliers / Standards / EntoBlitz / Recommended Equip / Permits / Cameras / Bats / Cars / R.O.W.

Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn

Insect Collecting Techniques

Insect Collecting Equipment Suppliers

Much entomological equipment and supplies can be built from everyday items around one's home. Other equipment can be purchased off the shelf or modified from items bought at local hardware or electrical stores. Some equipment, such as insect pins is generally only available from specialty retailers. 

Standards for Maintaining Collections

The following standards apply to all methods of specimen preservation: pinned specimens, specimens in alcohol, envelopes or on slides and all methods of storage: drawers, jars and jar racks, vial racks, slide boxes, envelope boxes and misc. containers for bulk storage.


BioQuip carries just about anything an entomologist might want. 

BioQuip went out of business in 2022

Collecting Equipment

Processing and Storing Supplies

AC/DC Black Lights

Mercury Vapor Equipment  

Hands-free Head Lamps

Butterfly Bait Stations

Lindgren Funnel Traps  

Beat Sheets 

Litter Reducer for concentrating Berlese Funnel samples

Malaise Traps

Sweep (Professional and Student Grade) Insect Nets

Collecting Jars and Ethyl Acetate

Bucket Light Traps

Pigma Pens - Permanent ink

Label Paper - Archival

Point Punches - For mounting tiny insects

Insect Pins and Blocks - Size 2 is optimal

Forceps - Featherweight variety are recommended (4750)

Insect Storage Boxes - Foam bottomed

Cornell Drawers or Drawer kits

Cornell Unit Trays - Size A, B, C, and D are recommended

Glass Vials and Caps - For soft insects/spiders

Hand Lenses - A variety of inexpensive models

Naphthalene - Moth Balls

Bats are the biggest collectors of insects in Texas

Study finds fewer bats, big impact

Sunday, July 8, 2007

By DAVID McLEMORE / The Dallas Morning News

UVALDE, Texas Just as the sun collapses into a ball of fading color in the western sky, bats stream out of Frio Cave in two twisting columns with a sound like running water.

Nightly, this colony of freetail bats leaves the cave an expansive geological formation carved out of a limestone hill on a private ranch about 25 miles north of Uvalde in search of a late-night snack.

At the same time, millions of bats from 11 other major caves scattered across the eight-county South Texas agricultural area known as the Winter Garden fill the sky in such numbers that they appear as storm clouds on weather radar.

Researchers have long known that bats in Texas caves dine on insect pests. But just how many bats there are and the value of their feeding had proved elusive until a five-year, $2.4 million National Science Foundation study by scientists from Boston University, the University of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

From sundown to sunup, the freetail bats consume a staggering 400 metric tons of insects a year in the Winter Garden, or 2 million pounds each night. They range over a radius of 75 miles and feed from ground level to 10,000 feet.

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Car Mortality Data from Illinois

McKenna D.D., McKenna K.M., Malcolm S.B., & M.R. Berenbaum. 2001. Implications of roadway mortality for populations of Lepidoptera in east-central Illinois. Journal of the Lepidopterist's Society 55(2): 63-68.

ABSTRACT. We conducted this study to investigate the magnitude of roadway mortality of Lepidoptera in central Illinois. <snip> Based on these data, the number of Lepidoptera killed along roadways for the entire state of Illinois during one week was estimated at more than 20,000,000 individuals. The number of monarch butterflies killed may have exceeded 500,000 individuals.

July 9, 2007

New Law Prohibits All Hunting of Wildlife From Roads

AUSTIN, Texas With the passage of House Bill 12 by the 80th Texas Legislature, it is now unlawful to hunt any wild bird or animal on a public road or the right-of-way of a public road.

Although the new law could be construed to apply to the collection of invertebrates, [Texas Parks & Wildlife] will not enforce the provision as it relates to invertebrates at this time.

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Sept 12, 2022 Mike Quinn / / Texas Entomology