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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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.  

Quick Note: Aquarium Filter Media Bags

While I’ll be putting up a full post concerning yesterday’s meeting of the Utah Lepidopterists’ Society, I wanted to quickly mention one thing I found out. Todd Stout had brought in some caterpillars on a plant to show. He had segregated each of them to a separate branch by using small net bags his wife had sewn. Craig (EntoCraig), one of the founders of the Utah Society of Entomology suggested using aquarium filter media bags. Great idea! These bags are available inexpensively and in multiple sizes. I can see lots of uses for those rearing insects as well as field naturalists. I found this source in a quick search this morning. GW

On the Harbor Freight 800 Watt Generator: Usage Tips and Helpful Modifications for the Moth Collector

I’m back into the Lepidoptera collection game this year.  After many years away, I decided that I was coming back to a hobby I’ve loved my whole life.  I particularly enjoy collecting the beautiful moths that we have in Utah, and I am putting together a white sheet collecting kit that consists of three mercury vapor lamps and two compact fluorescent black lights. Night collecting at a white sheet is a tried and true method for gathering moths.  Using a set of Mercury Vapor bulbs will provide the correct wavelength of light to attract most species of nocturnal Lepidoptera. Unless I am collecting in the back yard though, a portable power source is going to be necessary.  The Honda EU1000i is a … Continue reading