Collection and Preservation of Terrestrial Arthropods
Arthropods comprise an amazingly diverse group of life forms that are extensively studied in almost every field of the biological sciences. Given that the vast majority of animals are arthropods (primarily insects, arachnids, and crustaceans), knowledge of the specific methods to collect and preserves these organisms for scientific purposes can be indispensable. The application of this research can play major roles in fundamental aspects of human society, including agriculture and medicine. With something on the order of 5–10 million or more arthropod species in existence, it is a challenge for any biologist to attempt to assess and document biodiversity, but many of us find ourselves in a position to either perform this task, or assist others in doing so. It is therefore of utmost importance that proper collection and preservation techniques are used for arthropods which are then made available to scientists for diverse fields of research. The actual practical details of collection and preservation are nearly as diverse as the organisms themselves, so we can only attempt to give basic guidelines here, discussing equipment, trapping techniques, preservation methods, and documentation methods necessary for scientists inexperienced in arthropod collecting to preserve research-quality specimens.
Key wordsEntomology Arthropods Insects Collecting Trapping Preservation Curation Molecular preservation
We would like to thank Dr. John Heraty from the University of California, Riverside Department of Entomology for taking the time to review this chapter.
Additional credit should be given to Cole Watson for providing expert illustrations for this chapter’s figures.
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