EngDiary 0022 - Field entomology & Insect Sampling

  1. Chats
  2. Questions
  3. Novel
  4. Common Insects
  5. Battle


A watercolor painting depicting a man and a woman mountain climbing and catching beetles, with realistically smaller beetle sizes. The scene is set on a lush, green mountain with rocky surfaces and small patches of grass. The man, wearing a red jacket and blue jeans, is reaching out with a small net to catch a detailed beetle on a leaf, while the woman, dressed in a green jacket and black leggings, examines another detailed beetle on the rocks through a magnifying glass. Both beetles are typical black and shiny, resembling common beetles found in mountains. They are both equipped with backpacks and climbing gear. The background features a clear blue sky and distant mountain peaks, conveying a sense of outdoor adventure.


Webber: Alice, I’m really looking forward to our hiking trip next weekend. Have you ever collected insects before?

Alice: No, this will be my first time, Webber. I’m excited though. What should we bring along for collecting insects?

Webber: We should definitely bring a bug net each, and I’ll bring some containers to store the insects we catch. It’s important to be gentle when catching and handling them.

Alice: That makes sense. How do you usually catch them? Do we need to be aware of any particular techniques?

Webber: Yes, actually. When you use the net, make sure to sweep it through the bushes and grass gently to catch the insects without harming them. It’s more about technique than speed.

Alice: Got it. And how do we keep them safe once we’ve caught them?

Webber: We’ll place them in the containers I mentioned. I’ll line them with some moist paper towels to keep the environment inside comfortable for the insects.

Alice: Sounds good. Will we be identifying the insects as well?

Webber: Absolutely, I’m bringing a field guide to insects. It will help us identify the different species we collect. It’s fascinating to learn more about their roles in the ecosystem.

Alice: I agree. Learning directly in nature will definitely give us a better understanding. Plus, it’ll be fun to see who can catch the most varied species!

Webber: Definitely! It’ll be both fun and educational. Just remember to wear long sleeves and pants to protect yourself from thorns and insects.

Alice: Will do. Thanks for the tips, Webber. I’m really looking forward to this adventure!

Webber: Anytime, Alice. It’s going to be great. Let’s hope the weather stays nice for us!

Webber: Besides the insect nets and containers, we should also think about the hiking gear we’ll need. The trail can be quite rough in places.

Alice: Right, what do you suggest we wear and bring for the hike itself?

Webber: Well, sturdy hiking boots are a must for good traction and support. Also, a lightweight backpack where you can carry your supplies without straining your back.

Alice: I’ll make sure to pack a hat and sunscreen too, given how sunny it’s supposed to be. What about water and food?

Webber: Definitely bring a water bottle – two liters minimum per person. For food, energy bars, some sandwiches, and fruit would be ideal. They’re easy to pack and won’t spoil easily.

Alice: Should we bring any other specialized gear for collecting insects?

Webber: I think our nets and a few hand-held magnifying glasses would suffice. They’ll help us examine the insects closely without having to handle them too much.

Alice: And how about first aid? Just in case?

Webber: Good point. I’ll pack a basic first aid kit with some antiseptic wipes, bandages, and anti-itch cream, especially useful if we get bitten.

Alice: Sounds like we’re going to be well prepared. I’m starting to get really excited about this!

Webber: Me too, Alice. Oh, and one last thing—let’s keep an eye on the weather forecast. If it looks like it’s going to rain, we might need to pack some ponchos and waterproof bags to keep our gear dry.

Alice: Will do. We’ll meet up early to beat the morning traffic, and that way, we can make the most of the day.

Webber: Perfect! See you bright and early. We’re going to have a fantastic time.

Webber and Alice have now arrived at the mountain and start their hike. Early into their journey, they encounter a beetle which they catch using their nets and then place into an observation container.

Alice: Look, Webber! There’s a beetle already. It’s right by that log.

Webber: Great eye, Alice! Let’s try to catch it with the net gently. Remember, swift and smooth—like we practiced.

Alice: Got it. (sweeps the net over the beetle and carefully scoops it up) I think I’ve got it! Yes, it’s in the net!

Webber: Excellent work! Let’s gently transfer it to one of the observation containers. Make sure the lid is secure but has enough air holes.

Alice: (transferring the beetle) There, it’s in. This container should keep it safe and allow us to observe without hurting it.

Webber: That’s a beautiful beetle. Look at the markings. We’ll use the magnifying glass for a closer look and then consult the field guide to identify it.

Alice: (using the magnifying glass) The patterns are really intricate. I wonder what kind it is. Do you recognize it?

Webber: I’m not sure yet. Let’s check the field guide. (flips through the guide) Here it is—looks like it’s a Ground Beetle. Common, but fascinating.

Alice: I’m amazed at how many different species there are. It’s great that we can learn about them this way.

Webber: Absolutely, it’s hands-on science. And catching our first beetle so quickly gives us a great start to our bug collection today.

Alice: It sure does. Shall we keep going and see what else we can find?

Webber: Definitely. Keep your net ready and your eyes peeled. There’s a lot more to discover.

Alice: I will. This is turning out to be an exciting day!

Webber: For sure. It’s just the beginning, Alice.

Webber: Alice, look over here. This looks like a chrysalis attached to this branch. Do you think it’s a butterfly or a moth’s?

Alice: That’s a good question. They can look pretty similar. Let me use this app I have on my phone—it uses AI to help identify different species from photos.

Webber: That sounds perfect. Technology really comes in handy for these kinds of things, doesn’t it?

Alice: Definitely. (takes a photo of the chrysalis) Alright, let’s see what the app says.

Alice uploads the photo to the app, which processes the image using AI recognition technology.

Alice: And… it’s a butterfly chrysalis! The app is pretty detailed—it even gives some background information about the species.

Webber: That’s impressive. Knowing exactly what we’re looking at makes this more interesting. What does it say?

Alice: It says here that it’s likely from the family Nymphalidae, commonly known as the Brush-footed butterflies. The app also mentions that they are known for their vibrant colors and complex patterns.

Webber: Brush-footed butterflies, huh? I hope we can see it when it emerges. It would be amazing to observe the metamorphosis.

Alice: Absolutely, it would be. We’ll mark this spot. Maybe we can check on it later if we have time before we head back.

Webber: Let’s do that. It’s fascinating how much there is to learn from just observing and identifying. This app really helps bridge our curiosity with concrete knowledge.

Alice: It sure does. Ready to move on and find more interesting creatures?

Webber: Yes, let’s keep going. This hike is turning out to be quite the adventure!

Alice: I couldn’t agree more. Onward!

Webber: Alice, we’ve got a nice variety in our collection today. Let’s go through what we’ve found before we send off the details to the insect research center.

Alice: Sounds good. It’ll help to organize our findings too. Who should we start with?

Webber: Let’s start with the beetle we caught first. (shows the beetle) This is a Ground Beetle. They’re known for their speed and are quite common, but still interesting.

Alice: Next, we have the butterfly chrysalis. (shows the chrysalis) From the Nymphalidae family, as the app identified. It’s amazing to think soon it’ll transform into a beautiful butterfly.

Webber: Absolutely. And here we have a Ladybug. (points to another container) Always a favorite. They’re great at pest control, eating aphids.

Alice: Here’s a Dragonfly nymph. (shows another container) Found near the stream. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis and are fierce predators.

Webber: And lastly, a Grasshopper. (holds up the final container) It’s quite large and was easy to spot among the grass. Perfect for our collection.

Alice: These are all fantastic finds. Let’s take a picture with our collection for the records and then submit all the information through the app.

Webber and Alice arrange the containers neatly, pose for a photograph with their collected insects, and use the app to send the images and details to the research center.

Webber: I’ve included descriptions and the locations where we found them. It should be useful for the research center.

Alice: Dr. Bennett will be thrilled with our contributions. Alright, I’ve hit send. Everything’s uploaded.

Webber: Perfect! We’ve done a thorough job today. Ready to head back down?

Alice: Yes, let’s make our way back. I can’t wait to do this again. It’s been such a productive day.

Webber: Indeed, it has. Let’s pack up and make sure we leave no trace behind.

They carefully pack all their equipment, ensuring the area is as they found it, and start their journey back down the mountain.

Alice: This kind of field work gives me a new appreciation for nature and the intricate lives of these insects.

Webber: Same here. It’s not just about collecting but learning and contributing to science. We’ll have to plan another trip soon.

Alice: Definitely. Next time maybe a different location to see what other species we can discover.

Webber: That’s a plan. Great job today, Alice.

Alice: You too, Webber. Let’s head home.


What is Field Entomology?

How is field entomology different from other branches of entomology?

Why is Insect Sampling Important?

Can you explain the importance of insect sampling in agricultural pest management?

What are the Basic Techniques Used in Insect Sampling?

What are the differences between active and passive insect sampling methods?

How do Environmental Conditions Affect Insect Sampling?

How do seasonal variations impact the effectiveness of different insect sampling techniques?

What are Some Commonly Used Insect Traps?

Could you describe how a Malaise trap works and what types of insects it is good for catching?

How is Data from Insect Sampling Analyzed?

After collecting insects using a pitfall trap, what are the steps to analyze the data?

What Role Does Technology Play in Field Entomology?

How are drones being used in modern insect sampling and surveillance?

What are the Ethical Considerations in Insect Sampling?

What are the ethical implications of insect sampling in conservation areas?

How Can One Ensure the Accuracy and Reliability of Sampling Results?

What measures can be taken to minimize bias in insect sampling methods?

What are the Challenges and Future Directions in Field Entomology?

What are the major challenges in adapting traditional insect sampling methods to study urban ecosystems?


Chapter 1: The Calling

In the quaint village of Larkspur nestled at the foot of the Misty Peaks, young Webber’s life was about to change. Known for his curiosity about the natural world, he stumbled upon an ancient book in his attic titled, The Atlas of Arcane Insects. The book spoke of rare insects, whose powers were said to bend the very fabric of reality. Captivated, Webber decided he would seek these creatures out, documenting their wonders and mysteries.

Chapter 2: The Forest of Whispers

His first destination was the Forest of Whispers, a dense, verdant place where the trees seemed to murmur secrets. Here, Webber caught his first arcane insect, the Glimmering Whirlwig. A beetle that shone with a light bright enough to read by, which Webber found under a fallen log glowing eerily in the moonlight. This successful catch was just the beginning, and his journal filled with sketches and notes.

Chapter 3: The Mountain’s Echo

Next was the Echoing Peaks, mountains that loomed over Larkspur like ancient guardians. It was here Webber faced his first real challenge, the Echo Moth. Silent on the wing, their camouflage made them nearly invisible against the rocky outcrops. Catching one required patience and a gentle hand. With each insect caught, Webber felt a surge of exhilaration and wonder, pushing him further into his quest.

Chapter 4: The Caverns Deep

The caverns beneath the mountains were home to the rarest of his targets, the Crystal Crawler. These insects were said to live in complete darkness, their bodies crystalline and nearly transparent. Navigating the treacherous paths within the caverns tested Webber’s resolve. When he finally caught a Crawler, the joy was overwhelming. Each discovery echoed back to the book that inspired him, and his dreams grew ever bolder.

Chapter 5: The Legacy Unfolds

Months passed and Webber’s collection grew. His journal was now filled with the most fantastical creatures, each captured not just in nets, but in detailed drawings and careful descriptions. Returning home, he realized his adventures had changed him. He wasn’t just a boy with a net anymore; he was an explorer, a chronicler of the mystical and wild.

The village welcomed him back as a hero, eager to hear his tales. Webber knew his journey was just a part of a larger destiny, one that would perhaps never end as long as curiosity still sparked within him.

Common Insects

Name Short Introduction
Ladybug Brightly colored beetle, known for its spotted back; beneficial predator.
Bumblebee Large, fuzzy insects; known for their loud buzz and pollination.
Butterfly Known for their colorful wings; undergo metamorphosis from caterpillars.
Dragonfly Fast-flying insect with long body and transparent wings; eats other insects.
Deer Tick Parasitic insect known for transmitting Lyme disease; feeds on blood.
Praying Mantis Green or brown predator with distinctive “praying” front legs.
Ant Social insect living in complex colonies; can lift many times their weight.
Mosquito Infamous for biting and potential to spread diseases like malaria.
Firefly Bioluminescent beetle known for its ability to glow in the dark.
Beetle Over 350,000 species, diverse forms, some are pests, others control pests.
Cicada Known for their loud calls; emerge en masse every 13 or 17 years.
Moth Typically nocturnal with a fat body and feathery or sleek wings.
Spider (Arachnid) Eight-legged, not an insect; many are venomous and beneficial predators.
Cricket Known for chirping males; often used as pet food for reptiles.
Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Invasive and destructive caterpillar known for defoliating trees.
Wood Ant Builds large mounds; highly organized colonies and aggressive defenders.
Hornet Larger than common wasps, very protective of their nests and can be aggressive.
Sawfly Non-stinging relative of wasps; larvae resemble caterpillars and feed on plants.
Lacewing Delicate flying insect; larvae are voracious aphid predators.
Weevil Small, snout-bearing beetle known for damaging crops; some invade homes.
Grasshopper Known for powerful hind legs for jumping and making music by stridulation.
Aphid Small sap-sucking pests, often ant-farmed for their sweet secretions.
Damsel Fly Similar to dragonflies but slimmer and hold wings together when at rest.
Tarantula Hawk Wasp Extremely painful sting; preys on tarantulas to lay eggs in them.
Leafhopper Small, jumping insects; feed on plant sap and can transmit plant viruses.
Silverfish Wingless, fast-moving insect that feeds on carbohydrates like sugar and starch.
Earwig Recognizable by their pincers; they are nocturnal and hide during the day.
Pillbug Not an insect but a crustacean; rolls into a ball when threatened.
Phasmids Resembles twigs or branches, aka walking sticks; uses camouflage to hide from predators.
Flea Tiny, dark colored, and wingless; known for their itchy bites and jumping abilities.



In the shady glades of Whispering Woods, two Pokémon trainers, Webber and Alice, found themselves facing off on a quirky, leaf-dappled battlefield. The forest around them buzzed not only with the sounds of wildlife but also the excited chatter of local forest dwellers who had gathered to watch this unusual matchup.

Webber, sporting a cap that was slightly too large for his head, called out his first Pokémon with a flourish. “Go, Caterpie!” he shouted, and the little bug Pokémon emerged with an enthusiastic squeal, its eyes wide with excitement (or perhaps terror).

Alice smirked, tapping her Pokéball thoughtfully. “Let’s make it interesting, Surskit, show them what you’ve got!” In a flash of light, her Surskit appeared, skimming effortlessly over a puddle left by the morning’s rain, causing several forest fairies—tiny, mischievous creatures—to scatter in giggles.

The battle commenced with Caterpie attempting to strike with Tackle, wiggling furiously through the air. Surskit danced away easily, countering with Bubble, creating a stream of shiny bubbles that popped amusingly around Caterpie, making it sneeze.

A group of Sunkern from nearby bushes started placing bets with acorns, chattering excitedly. A particularly daring Sunkern tossed an acorn into the field, which, to the crowd’s amusement, bonked Caterpie on the head. Webber frowned, calling back Caterpie as it retreated into its Pokéball to nap off the unexpected acorn assault.

“Venonat, it’s your turn, let’s confuse them a bit!” Webber’s throw sent Venonat into a swirl of action. Its large, compound eyes glowed under the forest canopy as it unleashed Confusion. Surskit, dazzled by the psychedelic display, started skating in loopy patterns, much to the delight of a pair of watching Wooper, who clapped their tiny hands in joy.

Alice, chuckling, decided it was time for a switch. “Volbeat, light up the stage!” Her choice was met with applause from a group of Picnicker children who were enjoying the show while munching on berries. Volbeat entered with a flourish, its tail glowing brightly, illuminating parts of the dark forest and dazzling Venonat, turning the tide of the battle with a powerful Signal Beam.

“Now, Scyther, slice through the competition!” Webber’s voice rang out as he played his ace. The mantis Pokémon buzzed fiercely into the arena, wings humming like saw blades. The forest folk watched, awe-struck by Scyther’s menacing aura.

Scyther and Volbeat clashed spectacularly, Signal Beam and Wing Attack creating a light show that rivalled the northern lights. An elderly Torterra nearby nodded in approval, its tree shaking slightly as it chuckled.

As the battle heated up, Heracross finally made her grand entrance with a heroic leap, landing squarely in front of Scyther. “Use Brick Break!” Alice commanded. Heracross’s horn glowed with a fierce energy as it struck, but Scyther deftly avoided the attack, using the forest’s low branches to swing up and retaliate with Fury Cutter.

The battle reached a frenetic pace, with moves clashing and the crowd gasping and laughing at narrow escapes and flashy moves. In the end, Heracross managed to land a decisive Megahorn, sending Scyther tumbling back into a bush, which rustled indignantly.

Alice and Webber called back their Pokémon, grinning widely at each other. “Good match!” they exclaimed in unison, shaking hands while their Pokémon also showed signs of sportsmanship, chittering and buzzing amiably at each other.

As the crowd dispersed, the forest dwellers, from the mischievous fairies to the wise old Torterra, chattered excitedly about the match. They collected their acorns and berries, already anticipating the next big battle under the canopies of Whispering Woods, where the world of humans and Pokémon blended in fantastic displays of friendship and fun.