Author Topic: Collecting Insects  (Read 8718 times)

pachyrhinosaurus

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Collecting Insects
« on: January 21, 2013, 01:51:10 AM »
I have been planning to begin collecting insects, but I am unsure of which species are legally protected under US law. I was wondering if anyone here knows about this, or could point me in the right direction, as I have tried many online sources with no success.
~P. lakustai


Varanus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 04:16:32 AM »
It probably varies by state, I'd check you local fish and game's website.  As a general rule in the US with small animals, no collecting is allowed in protected areas (state and national parks, preserves, etc), permits are required on forestry service and BLM property, and specified bag limits apply to all areas including private and public property.  Not sure if any of this applies to insects though. :-\

sphyrna18

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 06:12:11 AM »
Any species of special concern on a state level is generally off limits. Your state dept. of agriculture may be able to help you with the specifics. You should be able to check with your local extension office or the USDA APHIS. State and Federal lands are typically under the jurisdiction of your state dept. of natural resources or dept. of forests, game commissions, etc. Before you collect anything from public lands you must have a collection permit. These specify what you are allowed to take and how much of it.  If you are seeing to collect a species on that falls under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, you're not likely going to get permission. For instance, you probably would not be allowed to take a Karner's Blue Butterfly.

If you plan to collect exotic insects (from other countries), a special permit from Fish & Wildlife Services. Otherwise, it is 100% illegal to import any kind of insect or arthropod from a foreign country. Collecting potentially invasive species native to other areas of the US generally requires permits from USDA (Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, for example). You can also contact the American Entomological Society or your state entomological society (some states do not have one), and they will can guide you.

Hope this helps.

tyrantqueen

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 06:50:05 AM »
So...this would kind of be taxidermy, right? :o Or are they alive?

Sorry if this is a dumb question :-[

They came flying from far away, now I'm under their spell....

sphyrna18

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 08:21:58 AM »
So...this would kind of be taxidermy, right? :o Or are they alive?

Sorry if this is a dumb question :-[

Haha - I assumed it was "hunting for" and capturing them. You can otherwies buy most species on eBay, preserved, museum mounted and ready for display! Places like Butterfly Designs maintain all the appropriate licenses and permits, which means the casual collector doesn't have to. Or look at the artwork of Christopher Marley - he uses insects to create magnificent pieces of art.  He published a book or 2 and has yearly wall calendars called "Exquisite Creatures." Anyone interested in insect display should take a look :)


pachyrhinosaurus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 02:13:27 PM »
Thank you for the answers  :). I am going to check into the sites.
I e-mailed my state's entomological society.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 08:27:31 PM by pachyrhinosaurus »
~P. lakustai

animaltoyforum

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 05:38:45 PM »
So...this would kind of be taxidermy, right? :o Or are they alive?

Sorry if this is a dumb question :-[

Most entomology collections consist of dried and pinned specimens. It isn't a form of taxidermy, which only applies to animal skins.  :)

brontodocus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 08:43:21 AM »
Hi pachyrhinosaurus, sorry for being late... :-[ If you're going to collect dried insects, there are probably some other things to consider, too. Shall your collection focus on a specific taxonomic group (one of our members here specialises on elaterids)? Or will you predominantly collect spectacular tropical species, be they related to each other or not? Right from the start you should decide what format your insect cases should have. There are many different sizes available but mostly the largest of them are the most reasonable, these are either 42*51*6 cm or 40*50*6 cm. You should exclusively use one size which would later allow all cases to be stored in the same cabinet (if you are collecting that many but such a collection can develop over time). However, a few giant beetles (e.g. giant specimens of Megasoma and Goliathus species) might not fit into standard size cases, higher cases (8 cm) are available for those. I would not recommend to use any other boxes than insect cases from entomology supply stores – only these have a lid that closes tightly enough to keep museum beetles and clothes moths away. The prices for dried insects are dependent on rarity, but also on size – e.g. a male of one of the largest Hercules Beetle subspecies, Dynastes hercules hercules and D. h. lichyi, can sometimes go for $30-40 if it’s under 120 mm but will cost several hundreds if it’s a giant 150+ mm specimen. Some giant insects are much more affordable, e.g. Giant Water Bugs (Belostomatidae) and Saturniidae. Imperfect specimens are mostly considerably cheaper, these have often lost tarsi (sometimes the tarsus is broken but still in the wrapping and can be glued on again with some practice). You should of course consider that only very few dried insects were captive bred, most of them were caught and purposely killed for insect collections. :'( Tropical phasmids, praying mantises, rose chafers and rhinoceros beetles are commonly reared in captivity, it may be possible to obtain deceased specimens from breeders. Many Saturniidae (e.g. the huge Atlas Moth, Attacus atlas) and Hawkmoths are more easy to rear and insect dealers often ship cocoons or pupae rather than dried imagines. Collectors of those can avoid wild caught specimens. Many diurnal butterflies are reared in butterfly farms in the tropics so those would be captive bred, too. There are surprisingly few insects internationally protected by one of the CITES appendices, only one beetle (Satan Beetle, Dynastes satanas), and a few butterfly species, most of them Papilionidae (e.g. Ornithoptera spp., Troides spp.).

pachyrhinosaurus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 10:27:44 PM »
Hi pachyrhinosaurus, sorry for being late... :-[ If you're going to collect dried insects, there are probably some other things to consider, too. Shall your collection focus on a specific taxonomic group (one of our members here specialises on elaterids).
I thank you for the information. My main focus will be both beetles and butterflies which live where I do. There is a great diversity, here in Pennsylvania.  I noticed you mentioned CITES, is there a way to find other laws or groups which outlaw collecting? I know we have the Endangered Species Act in America. I also, with my lack of success in learning about illegal species, have decided to "work backwards" and research species which I can collect instead of the ones I cannot.
~P. lakustai

brontodocus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 11:36:22 PM »
I'm afraid I cannot answer which further laws protecting animal species may apply in Pennsylvania. I can only give Germany as an example: As one of the countries that ratified CITES, all listed species are automatically protected by German law (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz = BNatSchG). This law not only includes all CITES species but also all species protected within the E.C. (e.g. all European amphibians and reptiles) and many more species that are additionally protected in Germany (Bundesartenschutzverordnung = BArtSchV). The result is that a majority of tetrapod species are protected in Germany. But there is more: All vertebrates are protected by a German animal law (Tierschutzgesetz) and even fishing requires a license. The BNatSchG also prohibits killing, disturbing, catching, and even collecting or possessing deceased or living specimens or even parts of them. Within a protected area (Naturschutzgebiet) this even applies to all plant and animal species regardless of their status elsewhere. There are also many insects native to Germany protected by BArtSchV, notably all dragon- and damselflies, many grasshoppers and katydids, Mantis religiosa, all antlions, all tiger beetles, all large ground beetles, many of the larger scarabaeids, all stag beetles, all wild bee relatives (superfamily Apoidea), the European Hornet Vespa crabro, nearly all diurnal butterflies, and many more. In Germany we have a Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz) that can inform about what is allowed and what isn't, I assume you would have a similar institution in the U.S., too?

pachyrhinosaurus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 12:24:31 AM »
I'mIn Germany we have a Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz) that can inform about what is allowed and what isn't, I assume you would have a similar institution in the U.S., too?
We do have laws, but some species, The monarch butterfly is (I think) an example, are unprotected.
~P. lakustai

sphyrna18

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 04:28:45 PM »
I'mIn Germany we have a Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz) that can inform about what is allowed and what isn't, I assume you would have a similar institution in the U.S., too?
We do have laws, but some species, The monarch butterfly is (I think) an example, are unprotected.

Hey pachyrhinosaurus - sorry for not responding sooner. I, too, live in Pennsylvania! What a small world. There are no species that are strictly protected from collection within the state; however, the Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia) is, I believe, a Species of Concern within the state. They can really only be found around Fort Indiantown Gap - the US Marines have done a great job maintaining the habitat and protecting the butterflies. I live in Chambersburg, which is South of Harrisburg. Last summer (2012), I had Regal Fritillaries at 2 separate wildlife gardens, so they are around.  Also, in PA, the Karner Melissa Blue Butterfly (Plebejus melissa) is Endangered or Extirpated. I'm not sure whether or not it is actually protected from collection, but collecting them would be frowned upon.  There are numerous species of butterflies and moths listed as Species of Concern in the state, but they are not granted any special protections.

A common misconception, at least in my neck of the woods, is that collecting or killing Praying Mantids is illegal. This is not at all true. The most common types of mantids found in PA are the Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis) and the European Mantis (Mantis religiosa), both are introduced species, and as such, do not enjoy any legal protections. The other mantids found in the state - the Narrow-winged Mantis (T. angustipennis) and the Carolina Mantis (Stagomantis carolina) are less common and are also not legally protected.

There are no protected species of beetles within the state; however, the American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) is believed Extirpated from the state and is Federally listed Endangered.

The PA Natural Heritage Project maintains a list of Arthropods, and has the current global, federal, and state status for each listed as well as links to factsheets.  The link:
http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Species.aspx

Hope this information helps.

pachyrhinosaurus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 11:03:45 PM »
I'mIn Germany we have a Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz) that can inform about what is allowed and what isn't, I assume you would have a similar institution in the U.S., too?
We do have laws, but some species, The monarch butterfly is (I think) an example, are unprotected.
The PA Natural Heritage Project maintains a list of Arthropods, and has the current global, federal, and state status for each listed as well as links to factsheets.  The link:
http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Species.aspx

Hope this information helps.

Thank you. I appreciate your help much. I did not know there were any Chinese mantids, just thought there were European. This helped very much, as the information I was going to go on was from the curator of a museum (who specialises in dinosaurs).
~P. lakustai

sphyrna18

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 06:30:35 PM »
Thank you. I appreciate your help much. I did not know there were any Chinese mantids, just thought there were European. This helped very much, as the information I was going to go on was from the curator of a museum (who specialises in dinosaurs).

Not a problem.  Yes, the Chinese Mantis and the Narrow-winged Mantis are both introduced Asian species (Narrow-winged are from Japan). Chinese Mantids have a white spot on the inside of each front leg close to the thorax. This spot is orange on Narrow-winged Mantids. European Mantids lack a spot.  And Carolina Mantids look totally different and are in general smaller than the other three.  If you are member of the website BugGuide (http://bugguide.net/welcome), then when you are signed in, you can see distribution data for most insect species in the US and Canada by going to the "Data" tab under the species description and looking at where photos have been submitted from. Further, if you want to see which species are found in PA, simply find the taxanomic rank you're interested in.

For instance, if you want to see which Mantids are found in PA:

1. go to the page for Mantids (Order Mantodea): http://bugguide.net/node/view/342391.
2. click on the 'Data' tab to display the map: http://bugguide.net/node/view/342391/data.
3. scroll down to 'Pennsylvania' and click it to display the state records on BugGuide: =PA]http://bugguide.net/adv_search/bgsearch.php?taxon=342391&location[]=PA.

Clicking on any record then will take you to the exact record.

Other sites that may be useful to you:

Odonata Central County Checklists: http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/ChecklistAction.chooseLocation

Butterflies & Moths of North America: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/

Tiger Beetles of the United States: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/insects/tigb/index.htm

I think there are a few more sites that provide location specific information about insects, but i'll have to look on my other computer later.  Again, hope this helps.

pachyrhinosaurus

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Re: Collecting Insects
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 10:22:50 PM »
Thank you.  :) I'll have to give it a try.
~P. lakustai