Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

New Version of an Old Classic

Cover of Special Publication 17 - "How to Collect and Preserve Insects."

In 1934, the Survey published a circular by H. H. Ross entitled How to Collect and Preserve Insects. The circular's intent was to show how easy it was to make a start in insect collecting and to give the collector an idea on how and where to begin. This popular circular was revised once and reprinted eight times. Because of its popularity, supplies of the last printing were exhausted in 1984.

The circular has been revised and updated once again and will soon be back in print. The revised publication highlights basic information about collecting techniques, collecting equipment, preservation techniques, classifying and naming of organisms, and a synopsis of the insect orders.

Collecting insects is one of the best ways for people to learn about the diversity and abundance of insects. There are an estimated 1 million species known at the moment and probably 10 times that number still remaining to be identified.

Many people enjoy collecting and derive satisfaction from subsequently organizing and displaying specimens. On a practical level, collections of beneficial insects and of household and garden pests can be used by farmers, home- owners, and pest control operators to help them recognize these insects.

The newest How to Collect and Preserve Insects manual, now called "INHS Special Publication 17," was co-authored by INHS Insect Collection Manager Kathleen R. Methven, entomologists Michael R. Jeffords and Richard A. Weinzierl, and former Insect Collection Manager Kathryn C. McGiffen. The manual contains 76 pages and is spiral- bound for easy use. It will be available soon through the INHS Publications Office for $6.

Kathleen R. Methven, Center for Biodiversity

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Last Modified 3/19/96

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