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Starting a sample collection?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 cjsnyder1234

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 08:39 PM

Was thinking about starting a collection of samples from local streams and was woundering about laws as far as taking samples and also how to go about it. What containers and how to preserve the samples any help is much welcomed. I live in new york for anyone that might know the regs. thanks!

#2 tidewaterfly

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 09:08 PM

Can't help with the regs but IMO a picture taken in the natural environment is worth more than the sample. I did just as you intend quite a long time ago. Enjoyed doing it, but found that insect samples degrade & change color after they die. Even the best preserved won't look exactly the same as they are in life. Since then I've relied on what others have done, particularly since there is this thing called the internet. It didn't exist back when I was out scraping around stream bottoms. Besides, no two insects, even of the same species are exactly alike. I now tie primarily generic patterns, and they work fine for me. Nothing is guaranteed with tying or fishing so even if you collect hundreds of samples, you still have to tie a suitable fly & present it in a manner that the fish will accept. 

 

What you're planning is a great way to learn, but again I think that good pics are far better from a tying perspective than dead samples and a lot easier to store too! rolleyes.gif



#3 mikechell

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 09:56 PM

As far as I can tell, there are NO protected insects in North America.  You can collect as much as you want.  

If you search for "insect collections" ... you'll find sites that are dedicated to the collecting, "humane" killing and mounting/preserving of insects.  I think most people started one as a school project ... at least most people in my age group.

I do agree with Tide ... taking good photos is as good or better than preserved dead insects.  See Terje's post for photography lessons.


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#4 rockworm

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 11:09 PM

There are countless formula for preserving insects. One of the simplest is ethanol/ glycerol (4:1.) The proper technique is to start your specimens in water and gradually increase the ethanol/glycerol content. A simple way to do this is to put your insect in a small container half-filled with clean water then add the preserving solution a little at a time until the container is full. Take your time so the preservative has a chance to penetrate slowly. Then half empty the container and repeat. After a day or so pour off all the solution and add pure preserving solution. (The larger the specimen the slower you need to perform this infiltration. ie: days to weeks.) Inspect your collection regularly and replace the preservative if it becomes discoloured. Store in screw-top vials or small jars well-labelled with collection date, location, etc. Although it is true that "pickled" specimens often lose some of their natural colour, they are still the best way to key out the species. Especially if you have access to a dissecting microscope. 

 

The smaller adults can be air-dried and mounted on pins. But this is delicate work- especially if you want to maintain wing shape. 

 

Good luck with your studies and give us an update (with pics?) from time to time.



#5 cjsnyder1234

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 11:05 AM

well this is some great information to thnk about, maybe picture are the way to go but having a few samples would still be fun so I might have to try a little of both. thanks for all the info and I will keep this in mind next time im out on the river!

#6 Esutton

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 06:33 PM

I am a geologist, not a biologist, but be sure to collect where permissible. State and fededal parks often say no collecting without proper permits. Some insects are endangered but really should not be a problem for you. Just wanted to pass this along. I have long wanted to do the same as you, and i may yet do it.

#7 Eric Hanson

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 09:49 PM

Here's a site that I highly recommend investigating before you put too much effort into your project:

 

Troutnut



#8 JSzymczyk

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 05:37 PM

InsectNet.com (if you can stomach it) is a resource, and for collecting supplies, Bioquip.com has everything you would ever need. 

 

Got to disagree Mike,  depending on your definition of "protected".   There are quite a few "listed" insects around, various conditions of protection depending on the jurisdiction.   Mostly, there are restricted areas, already mentioned - National Parks are an absolute off-limits area, also national monuments, wildlife refuges, seashores, conservation areas, etc.  National Forests technically require a "Special Use Permit" in order to collect insects.   That permit is granted on a case-by-case basis by the regional forest office.  Generally not hard to get as long as you fill out the correct forms and submit them well in advance.  State Parks, State Forests, and other state-controlled areas all have their own set of similar restrictions on collecting animals which include insects.    Some states have fisheries regulations pertaining to the collection of insects as bait.  For instance, here in Pennsylvania there is a daily "limit" on collecting dragonfly nymphs, and it's different in moving water and still water. 

 

Pretty much no one is likely to give you any grief over collecting things like stonefly or mayfly nymphs, as long as you're not kick-netting a huge area of stream and muddying it up.    If you ever move over to the PRETTY insects such as butterflies, moths, and beetles,  you become a huge destroyer of worlds, a rapist of the land, and a plague to be despised.... no matter how many butterflies got smashed into the windshields of cars on the interstate while all the eco-loonies drove over to harass you. 

 

Insects have been a main hobby of mine for my entire life.  


the gales of November remembered...


#9 mikechell

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 08:37 PM

Okay ... my mistake.  I went to the federal site and found that there are, indeed, 75 species of insects protected in the U.S.A.  The only damsel flies are Hawaiian.  Beetles, butterflies, moths and bees make up the rest of the list.

I guess the fact of federal protection also mean there are State protections, so it would be a good idea to check local laws.

 

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#10 Threeis420

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:24 PM

I know this is a pretty old post, but I stumbled upon This Thread while searching Goddard Caddis. I looked in California has a list of endangered insects listed on the department of fish and game website