Collecting Dragonflies

Kids growing up in the 1960's and 1970's were often encouraged to collect and mount insects. Each year, thousands of school students and scouts would scour fields with butterfly nets.  After capture, the specimens were placed in a sealed jar that contained a small amount dry cleaning fluid.  When the bugs expired, the trophies were mounted on a pin and stuck to cardboard or styrofoam.

Today, things are different.  Dry cleaning fluid is considered hazardous and best kept away from children.  Some people frown on the unnecessary killing of nature --- even insects.  Yet, collecting insects remains a great way for budding naturalists to study nature.  Thus, the Texas A & M University - Texas Agricultural Experiment Station has developed a technique for collecting dragonflies without killing them.  This technique involves scanning the dragonflies with a flatbed computer scanner.

If you click here, you will link to the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station's instructions on how to collect and digitally preserve your dragonflies.  Clicking here will take you the Dragonfly Catalog - a series of digitally preserved specimens.