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Handbook to the Construction and Use of Insect Collection and Rearing Devices:  A guide for teachers with suggested classroom applications

by Gregory S. Paulson

This book is a compilation of techniques and devices for collecting and rearing insects that should appeal to educators and professional or amateur entomologist. Insects are great for classroom studies.  They are easy to collect and raise and have a fascinating array of life histories.  Because they are small and have tremendous reproductive capacity ecological studies of dispersion, predation, parasitism and reproduction can be studied in compressed timeframes and small areas relative to similar studies or larger organisms.  In a small space and with very little cost colonies of insects can be raised in classrooms for use in behavioral and physiological studies.  The purpose of this book is to explain how to build and use insect collecting and rearing devices and through explanations of the various techniques stimulate educators to explore the study of insects in their classrooms.  A materials list, instructions for assembly, construction tips, and, if appropriate, suggestions for classroom projects including suggestions for simple statistical analyses is included for each device discussed in the text.  There is also a review of simple statistics for use in the classroom.  Anyone with basic hand tools, a little skill and patience can construct these devices.  Most of them require less than 1 hour assembly time and cost very little because they can be made from recycled items. Photographs are included to help you visualize the completed item.


Table of Contents


Choosing Materials for Projects

Active Collection Devices
Handling Tiny Organisms
Vacuum Collectors
White Pans
Surber-type Sampler
Beating Trays
Plankton Net
Insect nets
Sampling Frames
Kick Nets

Passive Collection Devices
Pitfall Traps
Pan Traps
Carpet Trap
Malaise Traps
Light Traps
Cover Boards
Aquatic Traps – Leaf Packs
Burlese Funnels

Cages and Observation Arenas
Bucket Viewer
Sleeve Cage
Clip Cage
Aluminum Screen Cage
Bucket Rearing Cage
PVC Pipe Cage
Can and Wire Cage
A Variety of Small Cages
Small Aquatic Viewing Arena
Large Aquatic Viewing Arena
Glass-Sided Terrestrial Observation Cage
Ant Farms

Handling Insects and Preparing an Insect Collection
Killing Jars
Pinning Insects
Relaxing Specimens
Minuten Pins and Paper Points
Spreading Board
Mini-Spreading Board
Pinning Block
Observation Block
Mini Dissection Tray
Insect Labels
Riker Mounts
Forceps and Paint Brushes

Miscellaneous Techniques
Marking Organisms
Emergence trap

Appendix A:  Net Pattern
Appendix B:  Statistical Analyses
Appendix C:  References & Field Guides
Appendix D:  Sources for Materials