Protect your expensive nets during transport

I have found that most equipment is damaged or destroyed during transportation rather than through use.  As I recently replaced the net bags on two of my net frames, I wanted to find a way to protect them.

After much searching I found these vinyl wreath bags on Amazon:

They will hold up to 18″ diameter nets with the handles attached and I believe you could zip them around 4 or 5 nets at the same time. I tie the handles together with a pair of ball bungees.  They work very well and are inexpensive to boot! There are only a few left, and I’ve been unable to find anything this size elsewhere on the web, so order now if you want one.


Quick Note: Utah Lepidopterists’ Society Meeting – Saturday Feb 11, 2012 – 10:00 AM

The Utah Lepidopterists’ Society will be meeting on Saturday Feb 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM in Provo in room 310 of the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. I am looking forward to hearing from Dr. Wayne Whaley on the Papilio indra complex.

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Classic Book Download: Smithsonian Institution – Directions for Collecting and Preserving Specimens

In the late eighteenth and early 20th centuries, naturalists were traveling all over the globe collecting exotic specimens for museums around the world.   In 1911 the Smithsonian published bulletin 39 outlining the directions for collecting and preserving specimens of all types.  Here we find Riley’s famous 1892 work on collecting and preserving insects as well as articles outlining the collection of everything from rocks and minerals to baskets to skeletons and almost anything else imaginable.  It really is a fascinating read.

As you are probably aware, I love old science books.  I added this one to the collection, and it is my belief that you will enjoy it too.

Bulletin 39 of the Smithsonian Institution: Directions for Collecting and Preserving Specimens


Video: Tips on finding Lorquin’s Admiral Hibernacula

Hi all,  Todd Stout Lepidopterist extraordinaire, sent this out as an email. I thought you’d like to see it here.

By the way, Todd has  an incredible site on Raising Butterflies.  You really need to check it out.

Thanks, Todd…

“Here’s a short video I just uploaded on how to find hibernating Viceroy, Admiral and/or Red Spotted Purple caterpillars in rolled leaf hibernacula during the fall, winter, and/or early spring months. Although this video specifically addresses finding Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini burrisoni) hibernacula in Idaho, it can be applied to other Limenitis populations as well where you have the opportunity to seek out isolated willows, aspens, choke cherries, or service berries.”

Quick Note: Specimen Storage

Obtaining adequate specimen storage is expensive for any avocational entomologist, but especially for the lepidopterist do to the relatively large size of our quarry compared to say the coleopterist.   I have been researching the least expensive way to obtain some drawers to start my collection.

Pre-built drawers run from twenty nine to about sixty five dollars per depending on the options selected, but shipping is the killer.  Bio-Quip has drawer kits that ship broken down and can save substantially in that regard.  I also found an article in the Southern Lepidopterists’ News Volume 14 Number 4 by Vernon Brou describing how to build your own Cornell style drawers.  I intend to use California Academy sized drawers, so I would need to redimension his plans.

Whichever drawers I choose, I will be using unit pinning trays rather than plastic foam in the bottoms of the drawers.

At this time, I’m leaning toward the Bio-Quip drawer kits, but I’d like to know your thoughts and experiences in selecting storage for your collection.  If you have a minute, please leave a comment.


Video: Blacklighting in Box Canyon

As you may be aware, my primary focus on Lepidoptera is on the macro moths of Utah. I am currently building a night collecting kit using mercury vapor lamps. In this video, the participants, are using a setup virtually identical to the setup I am gathering.

Aaron Olsen did a presentation for the Utah Lepidopterists’ Society in 2005 that goes into great detail on how to build one of these setups.


Book Review: Butterfly Photographer’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Reference for Nature Photographers by William B. Folsom

As I said in an earlier post, I’ve read a few really good books on butterfly and macro photography lately.  Butterfly Photographer’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Reference for Nature Photographers by William B. Folsom is one of those.

The book is essentially broken into two parts; a field guide and photography handbook.  Folsom provides an in-depth overview of the lives and habitat of butterflies in the first section.  The second section is all about the photography and specifically how it applies to imaging butterflies.

While the book is probably ready for an update now that we all shoot digital, it is truly a great resource for the butterfly photographer.  I rate it 5 stars.