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Insects are invertebrates with three pairs of legs, usually two pairs of wings, one pair of antenna, jointed appendages, and three distinct body regions — head, thorax, & abdomen. Insects belong to the largest phylum of animals known as arthropods. Many small arthropods are mistaken for insects such as spiders, ticks, millipedes, & centipedes. Although some insects may sting or bite, insects play an important role in nature as a food source for other animals and as plant pollinators.
By doing an insect collection, you can, not only learn beneficial and harmful insects common to your area, but you will also learn structural modifications of various insects that have enabled them to survive & become such a successful and diverse group of animals.. You will also learn to use taxonomic keys to identify organisms.
In order to properly do an insect collection, several techniques must be learned including how to correctly collect, kill, pin, spread, label, and display your organisms. The following instructions have been modified for a high school biology classroom.