Lab 3: Collecting & Preserving 2 – Forest Field Trip

In this lab you will observe and collect insects commonly associated with forest trees, dead wood, and soil litter.  


The main objectives of this lab are to help you:

  1.   Learn where to look for forest-dwelling insects and collect them safely
  2.   Grade progress on Id’ing/preserving specimens from 10 orders for next lab period


1. Review

Before lab, review: the video above; “Lab 3 Details” on the course Moodle site; and appropriate parts of the Insect Collection Instructions.

2. Bring Materials for Lab

See the list at the bottom of this page (IMPORTANT: if you do not bring these materials, you will not be be able to complete this lab)

3. Prepare Collecting Materials:

Before going on the field trip, make sure you have 3 vials of Kahle’s solution and 3 vials of alcohol and plain paper to make temporary labels (i.e. 1 for each vial you put specimens in, and 1 for your killing jar); “recharge” your killing jar with ethyl acetate from your squeeze bottle.

4. Travel to Forest for Insect Collecting

We will travel to a local forest site to collect insects from foliage, branches, logs, leaf litter, and understory plants.  DE STUDENTS: find a forest site (e.g. national forest, state game lands, or private land you have permission to be on). DO NOT collect in areas that are part of a state or national park, or other ecological reserve where collecting is prohibited.  See the Google Maps link in “Lab 3 Details” on the course Moodle site for the field trip location.

5. Lab Exercise:  Work on ID’ing and Preserving Specimens in 10 Orders

Please go to the “Lab 3 Details” on the ENT 425 Moodle site to see the details and rubric for how you will be graded.


You will need the following materials for this lab:

  1. Collecting gear (signed out at beginning of semester)
  2. Preserving gear (signed out at beginning of semester)
  3. Your Specimens
  4. Temporary labels (hand-written in pencil only on small pieces of plain paper)
  5. 70% ethyl alcohol and “Kahle’s Solution” (both provided in lab)
  6. Smartphone or computer, to access class website and Moodle site.