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Collection Methods

Looking for arthropods:

Different insects are active at different times of the year and even at different times of the day. Good places to look for insects are on plants (different plants attract different kinds), under rocks, in decaying materials, and near water.


Equipment for collecting arthropods can come in many forms. Most simply, all a person needs are their hands and a container, however, some tools can be helpful:

Nets- a good net is usually both light and sturdy.
Sheets- spread under plants or places where arthropods go
Aspirator- a device used to suck insects into a vial. The vial has an intake tube and a mouthpiece coming from it.
Killing jars- a jar containing a killing agent such as Ethyl acetate or cyanide.
Black Lights- a useful tool for spotting arthropods at night. Scorpions glow under black lights!

Methods for Gathering Arthropods:

Swinging nets at arthropods that you have spotted.
Placing nets or sheets under plants and then shaking the plants and observing what falls off.
Swishing blindly through grass and then checking your net to see what you've collected.
Having a good eye is always helpful!