Australian Entomological Society



 

 

The Titles

Methods for Collecting, Preserving and Studying Insects and allied forms, by M.S.Upton

The Reviews

Methods for Collecting, Preserving and Studying Insects and allied forms

by M.S.Upton

ISBN = 0 646 04569 5
Price = PB $ Au.
Published = 1991
Review written = 18/Jan/1997
This is exactly what it says it is, and despite its having been published by the Australian Entomological Society it will be equally usefully in all English speaking countries, though the list of entomological societies only includes Australian ones. It is aimed at beginners and intermediate entomologists, and as such is a valuable work. It contains sections on collecting and preservation methods including the various nets, beating, aspirators, flight intercept traps, pitfall traps, lure and baits, light traps, coloured trays, aquatic traps. separators and sieves, extraction funnels, aerosols and fogs, relaxing, pinning, staging, pointing, carding, spreading, wet storage, slides and permanent storage. As well as notes on transporting live specimens, dissections, labelling and care of collections. However though all the techniques are described I think they could have been better illustrated given the old adage that 'a picture paints a thousand words', and the fact that it will be used by people who may never have heard of these techniques before. I was surprised to see no illustration demonstrating the usage of setting paper when setting the wings of lepidoptera. I was also particularly surprised to see, that in a world that is rapidly becoming conservationally more enlightened, there is a complete lack of, 'a code for collecting,' unless the following irresponsible sentence represents a code of conduct. "Collectors should aim to effectively collect, in good condition, as many of the insects they seek as possible." This could all too easily be read as a licence to collect huge numbers of replicates of endangered species. Apart from these omissions, this will be of particular use to schools and aspiring entomologists though given its 86 pages it can not be as extensive in its coverage as Harold Oldroyd's 340 page book of a similar title (now unfortunately out of print).

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