The Collection

Two months ago Sir Son was given an assignment by his Science teacher.  Each of her students were to collect 30 different insects, pin them, and label their order.  Although Sir Son has done most of this work, we as a family joined in on the fun.

We collected mostly live specimens.  A few were already dead when they were collected.  We quickly learned that the traditional killing jar was not working, so we came up with a better idea.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures.  Maybe one day I’ll explain what we did.

Here is the entire collection. I’m sorry for the awful quility of the picture. I am not allowed to take the board outside in the sunlight to get great pictures. Sir Son doesn’t want anything to happen to it. I understand.


And now for some upclose photos.

American Grasshopper .   The fuzzy thing behind it is a Long Horn Tootpick Grasshopper.

insect grasshopper

Gulf Fritillary – This one was caught at Washington Oaks Park. If you want to know what it looked like before it was beautified, go here. Some of the scales have fallen off on the right side. 😦


Back view of some butterflies and a moth (below). The two at the top are male and female Black Swallowtails. The female was caught in the pasture behind our home. The male was collected as a caterpillar and kept until its transformation. We had another one that hatched and it was let go.


 The bottom left one is a moth (above). Sir Son found it as a caterpillar, jumping like crazy. One of the dogs wanted to eat it. The caterpillar was taken inside and forgotten about for about two days, then we noticed it was a cacoon. We thought it died actually. Then we discovered the moth had hatched. Then we killed it.


The yellow butterfly in the above picture is a Cloudless Sulphur. It was caught in the back pasture.

A close up of the Ultronia Underwing Moth (below).


An added bonus. The students will receive extra credit for any different insects, after the 30 count, and anything else of interest. I caught this one at Guana River. Sir Son calls it a water roach.  LOL


The dragon fly below was caught in a neighbor’s back porch.  She had told us they usually get one dragon fly a week, caught in their screen.  It was good they found one.  Those things are not easy to catch.


Among the things I didn’t photo up close are Palmetto Bug, American Cockroach, Cicada Killer (this is the same one photoed in the killing jar post), bees, beetles, cricket, moths, and grasshoppers.

We identified almost all of the bugs. A few of the beetles we can not name. The books and website we used for reference are:

Bug Guide
Fabulous Florida Insects and Butterflies
Insects: A Golden Guide from St. Martin’s Press
A Florida Field Guide

This was an extremly fun activity. Even the girlies helped find bugs. 🙂

6 responses to “The Collection

  1. Michelle, his collection display looks wonderful. He did a top-notch job.

  2. It looks great! I don’t blame him for not wanting to risk taking it outside!

    Yes, please tell us your alternate killing method. Our killing jar does not work as well as we would like; I always end up having to drop the nail polish remover on top of the bug’s head, which messes up the antennae. It irritates me. (Not as much as it irritates the bug, though.)

    • I’ll write up a post later. Probably post on Monday, but I’ll go ahead and email you what we did. It will help with those antennae. It won’t help with the dried up cockroach, when picked up the leg falls off. Good thing they don’t need their appendages anymore. 😀

  3. My daughter did one of these last year. She had a fun time doing it. I was totally grossed out. LOL!

  4. He did a great job!! 🙂 I think you should get it framed 🙂 Is there a way to preserve the bugs so they would hold up for a long time in a frame?

  5. Wow that is quite a collection! I agree it would be neat to frame it like they do in museums sometimes.

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