Many museums house vast invertebrate collections which are used to help reliably identify both existing and new to science species and are an invaluable tool for taxonomic research.
However, insect collections are not restricted to museums, and many biological recorders both collect and store reference specimens to help compare morphological features, come to reliable identifications and aid in the mapping of species distributions. A personal reference collection can be a fantastic resource for insect recorders over many taxonomic groups. Despite needing to kill and preserve many species in order to identify them, well-curated insect collections still remain a misunderstood taboo for much of the general public and even some of the natural history community.
This collections workshop provides an introduction to techniques and practices on insect specimen preservation, labelling, storage and use over a range of insect groups.
Course tutor: Dan Asaw