|Bugs explored through 4-H entomology project|
|Written by JoLynn Midcap|
Bugs are literally everywhere and come in all different shapes and sizes. For children who go outside to explore this amazing world and find this interesting, why not enroll in the entomology project in 4-H? What is the next step in encouraging this interest?
Enrolling in this 4-H project gives youth the opportunity to learn about entomology and build their insect collection. Entomology is the scientific study of insects where youth collect, identify and exhibit their collection.
Some of the basic items that participants will need to gather together to start this project are 1) a container to gather specimens, 2) a display box, 3) insect pins, and 4) an insect identification book or field guide. A bug net may also be helpful and will assist insect-collection skills.
Once participants have gathered several different insects, they can either put them in a freezer or a jar with a cotton ball soaked in fingernail polish remover or rubbing alcohol for a few hours. The insects are now ready to pin. When pinning insects, try to get the specimen to look as natural as possible. If pinning a butterfly, make sure the wings are spread widely, just like it is flying from flower to flower. If pinning a beetle, pay attention to its legs and antennae. They should be straight and make the beetle appear as if it is walking across the ground.
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