|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Dusty, I am going to assume that you are asking this because you want to start an insect or butterfly collection. Insects make wonderful collections because most don't need anything special to preserve them. There are a few things to watch out for when preserving butterflies, however. 1. Try to keep them out of sunlight. The sunlight will fade the color on the wings. 2. Try to keep them dry. Moisture or water will grow mold and that’s bad for a collection. 3. Finally, keep them sealed. There are some nasty insects that like to eat dead insects, especially those in a collection! If you cannot keep them completely sealed then you can keep a “moth ball” (used to keep insects away from clothing and other items) in with your collection. 4. Most importantly, don’t touch the wings! The color on the wings comes from little tiny scales (kind of like those on a fish). When you touch the wings with your fingers, the scales come off. Your butterfly wings won’t look too good then. If you can keep those three things in mind when you make your collection, then your butterflies will do just fine. I should add, Dusty, that it is actually more fun to collect, observe, and then let go living insects than to collect dead ones and keep them in a box. That way you can help “preserve” your butterflies for everyone to enjoy. Good butterfly hunting, David References: The Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders Peterson’s Field Guide to Insects http://butterflywebsite.com/gallery/index.cfm (This is a great butterfly website with photos and more) http://www.isis.vt.edu/~fanjun/text/Links.html (This is my personal favorite site for insects. If you want to find something about insects, go here)
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.