There are more kinds of insects in the world than all other organisms combined. They live on the earth's surface, in the soil, and in water. Insects live in deserts, rain forests, hot springs, snow fields, and dark caves. This project will help you study insect and their relationship with people. You can also learn how to collect, preserve, and identify insects.
For Judging and Check-in information, consult the current 4-H Catalog.
For Resources such as Manuals, Record Sheets, and Score Cards see the Indiana 4-H Youth Development Project Page.
- Members must complete three activities in the project manual each year along with a record sheet. Completed manual and record sheet must be turned in by the established and posted date.
- The “Begin” and the “Talking It Over” section must be completed in order to be counted as a completed.
- Any of the “Migrating On” activities will fulfill the requirements of three activities. If a “Migrating On” activity is chosen, members must write out the results of that activity and insert that page in the manual to be complete.
- Premiums and Grand Champions will be determined by the method stated in the Adams County 4-H Governing Rules under the General Project Rules section.
- References: one of the following:
- 4-H 764: How to Study, Collect, Preserve and Identify Insects.
- ID –401: How to Make an Awesome Insect Collection, extension.entm.purdue.edu/401Book/default.php
- Asterisk (*) indicates the maximum number of educational boxes allowed in Level 3 Insect Collection.
- Collection - Insect Collection, label with your grade in school.
- Poster - choose one of the topics listed appropriate for your grade in school, use that topic for exhibit title.
- Use the orders listed in Resource Manuals (ID-401 on page 57 and Table of Contents in 4-H-764).
- When writing scientific names: they must be in either italics or underscored. The Genus (first name) must have the first letter capitalized. The species (second name) has no capitalization.
- Collect, mount (pins or vials), and identify insects personally collected in the U.S. only.
- Display your best specimens in a covered 18” x 24” box(es), orientated horizontally. When multiple boxes are used; list the box order (i.e. "box 1 of 3 boxes") and include your name in each box.
- ID 401 A-F cards (for grades 3-8) and ID 401-I cards (for grades 9-12) are to be placed inside the display box in an attractive manner.
- Collection display boxes are expected to contain the specified number of insects, families, orders specified.
- All insects must be in the adult stage and be properly mounted on insect pins/contained in vials as directed.
- Pin Labels: Each pin or vial must contain two labels:
1) Top label is to include collection date, location, and collector name.
2) Bottom label is to include common name and other optional identification data.
- Box Labels:
1) Box labels (computer generated or neatly printed) are used for orders and families as required and are to be placed flat against the bottom of the box. Insects must be properly grouped directly under the correct order and family box label. For example, all insects belonging to a particular order must be placed under that order label. Orders to be used are listed in the reference book ID- 401. If family level identification is required, the insects should be further grouped together under that family label.
- Educational Box:
- One additional box (educational), based on the specific theme required for grades 9-12, in addition to the insect collection boxes. This box can be created in any manner chosen (without the mounting, pinning or identifying restrictions specified above).
Level 1-Grades 3-5
- Poster Option: Display a poster based on the following Activities:
- Big Mouth Bugs - Show the four (4) different mouth types that you studied. Create a chart listing the four mouth types, an insect with this mouth type, food they eat, and where these insects might be found.
- Pit Stop - Make two pit traps and use them to collect insects. Exhibit your completed record sheet. You can use the format given for your data collection, or make your own. Include some of the insects, or pictures of your trap and insects collected.
- Buz-z-zing Around - Present three to five ways that insects communicate. Include an insect, or picture of each insect that communicates in each of the ways you are describing.
- FACETnating! - Show how insects see (compound eyes) and explain how they see colors.
- Ants and Uncles - Compare insects with their non-insect relatives by completing the chart in your book (copy or make your own). Include some of the insects and their non-insect relatives, or pictures of them, on your poster.
- Chirp, Chirp - Watch and listen to the crickets for five minutes, three times a day, for three days. Include day and night observations. Record what you see and hear.
- Insect Collection (Maximum number of Boxes: 1)
- Grade 3- Display exactly 10 insects, identified and pinned on cards (ID 401A).
- Grade 4 - Display exactly 20 insects mounted (pins or vials) Identify all insects by common name and identify five (5) to order. Include card ID 401B.
- Grade 5 - Display exactly 30 insects, mounted (pins or vials) Identify all insects by common name and identify 15 to order. Include ID 401C.
Level 2-Grades 6-8
- Poster Option: Display a poster based on the following activities:
- Collecting Insects - Use two of the insect collecting traps described in Activity 2 (Berlese Funnel, Indoor Insect Trap), Activity 3 (Modified Wilkinson Trap), Activity 4 (Fruit Bait), or Activity 5 (Light Attractor) to collect insects. Exhibit a picture of your traps and an Insect Collection Data Chart that gives the trap location (for example, in the basement or in the back yard), date collected and insects collected.
- Spread Your Wings and Fly - Make and use a spreading board. Exhibit two pictures of your spreading board and three butterflies or moths that you prepared using your board.
- Insect Experiments - Complete one of the following activities: Activity 8 (Color My World), Activity 9 (Sowbug Investigations), or Activity 10 (Life's Stages). Exhibit your data sheet and answers to the "Talk It Over" questions. For activities 8 and 9 include your hypothesis and a conclusive statement about your hypothesis (indicate if it was proved or disproved).
- Invasive Species Investigations - Create an informational exhibit about one (Indiana) invasive insect. Include information requested in the activity for this insect (first eight (8) questions on page 29).
- A Sticky Situation - Make and use sticky traps for four weeks as described in Activity 13. Exhibit your data sheet and the answers to "Talk It Over" questions.
- Footprint Clues - Study the tracks of 3 different species of insect and one arthropod as described in Activity 14. Exhibit your data sheet and the answers to "Talk It Over" questions.
- Insect Collection (Maximum number of Boxes: 2)
- Grade 6 - Display exactly 40, insects, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name and order. Include ID 401D. Group insects by order and exhibit a minimum of 6 orders.
- Grade 7 - Display exactly 50 insects, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name and order. Identify ten (10) to family. Include card ID 401E. Group insects by order and exhibit a minimum of 8 orders.
- Grade 8 - Display exactly 60 insects, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name and order. Identify 30 to family. Include card ID 401F. Group insects by order, exhibit a min of 10 orders.
Level 3-Grades 9-12
- Poster Option: Display a poster based on the following activities:
- The Scientific Method - Use the scientific method to complete one of the problems listed in Activity 3. Describe what you did to complete the five scientific method steps and include your data and drawings or pictures of your experiment.
- Transecting for Insects - Compare three habitats using the scientific method to determine which one has the most terrestrial insect activity. Display your transect data sheet for each habitat and answer the "Talk It Over" questions.
- Please Drop In - Create your own hypothesis and collect insects in five pitfall traps to prove or disprove your hypothesis, as described in Activity 7. Display how you completed your experiment (including each step in the scientific method) and your data for each habitat.
- Aliens Among Us - Complete the "Natives vs. Non-natives Survey Data Sheet" by checking two boxes (Native or non-native and damage or no damage) for five native and five non-native insects as shown in Activity 9. Answer the "Talk It Over" questions.
- IMP - Learning and Teaching - Make an informational flier and use it to teach younger 4-H members about five insect pests that might be found in a home or school in your county. Exhibit your flier, lesson plan, and photograph of you teaching. Answer the "Talk It Over" questions.
- Meal from a Worm - Use the scientific method to study how mealworm larvae grow. Include your hypothesis, data charts, and conclusions. Answer the "Talk It Over" questions.
- Advanced Topic - Advanced topic-Learn all you can about a topic of your choice and present it on a poster or in an Entomology box. Include a short manuscript, pictures, graphs, and list the works cited to describe what you did and what you learned. Title your poster, "Advanced Entomology-Independent Study"
- Mentoring - Exhibit a poster that shows how you mentored a younger 4-H member. Include your planning, the time you spent, the challenges and advantages of mentoring, and how the experience might be useful in your life. Photographs and other documentation are encouraged. Title your poster, “Advanced Entomology-Mentor”.
- Insect Collection (Maximum number of Boxes: 3 + Educational Boxes)
Educational Boxes – The educational box is in addition to the insect display box(es). This box should be created in such a way as to teach something about the assigned theme to the general public.
- Grade 9 - 70 insects, exhibit a minimum of 12 orders, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name, order, and family. One educational box; theme: insect behavior. Include card ID 401I. (1-3 collection boxes plus 1 educational box*). Place 401I in first collection box only.
- Grade 10 - 80 insects, exhibit a minimum of 14 orders, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name, order, and family. One educational box; theme: insect pest management. Include card ID 401I. (1-3 collection boxes plus 1 educational box*). Place 401I in first collection box only.
- Grade 11 - 90 insects, exhibit a minimum of 16 orders, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name, order, and family. One educational box; theme: insects in the environment. Include card ID 401I. (1-3 collection boxes plus 1 educational box*). Place 401I in first collection box only.
- Grade 12 - 100 insects, exhibit a minimum of 18 orders, mounted (pins or vials). Identify all insects by common name, order, and family. One educational box; theme: benefits of insects. Include card ID 401I. (1-3 collection boxes plus 1 educational box*). Place 401I in first collection box only.