Welcome to the world of insects. Insects are found all around us, you have but to look for them to find them. Some are colorful, some camouflaged, some secretive and mysterious, some obvious. No matter where you live, insects live nearby. Insects are fascinating creatures, yet we know so little about most of them. Young people can help find out more about these insects. They can study and collect the insects that occur in their backyards, in the forest nearby, in the vacant lot around the corner, or in the pond. They can record what they observe and donate specimens to museums so that others can study them. But they must understand the how and why of doing this, the fact that they can make a significant contribution to the natural history of New York State, where to begin and how to go about it.
We do not know everything there is to know about even one of these, and very little about most of them. Where in NY do they occur? What do they feed on? When and how do they reproduce? How do they pass the winter? Do they have parasites? What predators eat them and what do they prey upon? What time of year do the adults fly, or creep about, or bore into dead trees, or whatever they do? New York is one of the best studied regions of the USA, entomologically. In 1926 15,449 different kinds of insects had been found in New York State, and more have been added to the list since. Some have been introduced from foreign lands, moved in from nearby states, and some that are native have only recently been discovered.
For the New York State 4-H Entomology Project Materials for the following topics, click on the headings listed above (to the right of “HOME”): “Growing Moths” (4-H Members Guide 139-M-6-6); “Know Your Insects” (M-6-1); “Labelling and Storing an Insect Collection” (139-M-6-7); and “Learning About Butterflies” (139-M-9).
Link to main Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H website