The Collection And Observation of Lepidoptera
Insect collecting has long been a preserved pastime, whether the collector is a seasoned Lepidopterist or a layman with an eye on the ground, and it continues on today, often with more environmentally conservative ideas than it has in the past. One of the greatest benefits of collecting insects is that it can be done nearly anywhere in the world-- from a jungle in India to a backyard in Texas-- by nearly anyone.
Collections range from one or two Riker boxes to row upon row in the vast stocks of major Universities. The process of searching and hunting for the specimens can be as rewarding as the capture, and identification & display of the found insects opens an entirely new world of possibilities.
For a beginner or an amateur, collecting will often consist of the insects most commonly found close to home. Of course, a person who is studying the diversity and immensity of specimens worldwide may travel to another country or continent just to seek out a certain species.
In the Lepidoptera world, one species of butterfly may be found in Europe, Asia and America, which makes the hunting of common variations much simpler. It is important to do your research if you wish to pursue collecting as a serious hobby. The level and passion you put into the act all depends upon what you want out of it.
Another divergent choice in collecting is the product of a collection. Some may only wish to catch a butterfly for a moment before setting it free; others may wish to preserve the insect longer.
To begin collecting, start by observing the environment around you. Oftentimes, a person will find more butterflies than they ever thought possible just by endeavoring to look.
Here are a few links and guides to beginning the art of Lepidoptera collecting: