Insect Collection Project - Division III.

Buzzing, humming, leaping—insects are fascinating. They do many things that people do. Some insects raise crops and herd insect "cattle." There are insect architects, carpenters, tunnel-makers, hunters, and undertakers. Insects are all around us—living in our houses, puncturing our skin, eating our food and clothing, and pollinating or attacking our plants. They live deep underground in caves, in rivers, on deserts, as far away as the Arctic Circle, and as near as the room you are sitting in.

We already know about 1,000,000 species of insects, and there are even more to be discovered. There are about 280,000 different species of beetles alone! Then there are 140,000 species of butterflies and moths; 115,000 species of wasps, bees, and ants; and 87,000 species of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes.

In this project, you will discover the world of insects. Each year you will display a collection of insects. This page will lead you through making a Division III Collection. Collections will be judged at 4-H Congress in the summer. You do not have to attend to submit a collection. You may send your collection with your county extension agent or your 4-H leader.  

Requirements for Division III

Collect, properly mount, and label 55 different insects representing as many as possible of the 27 orders known to be found in Florida (a minumum of 12 representative orders is recommended). You may include insects collected for previous divisions. Identify each insect by order AND its common name or the true scientific family name (insect family common names such as: stink bug for Pentatomidae; blister beetle for Meloidae; bee for Apidae; or muscid fly for Muscidae are acceptable). Fill in the blanks on the card "Insect Growth and Development." Arrange insects under appropriate order labels, and display them along with the card in ONE standard insect box. Print the heading "Insect Growth and Development," and place it in the box. You may empty and reuse your Division II box.  You need to be at least 10 years old to participate in this division.


  1. These rules only apply for 4-H members who wish to have their collection judged at the county or state level.  If you do not intend to show your collection at these levels talk to your leader and together you can decide which rules are appropriate for your collection.
  2. You must be 12 to 18 years old within the year for Division III or have placed in the Division II Competition in the previous year.
    NOTE: If you are too young to attend Congress or you cannot attend for other reasons you may give your collection to your 4-H leader or extension agent to bring to congress for you.  This means you can still compete even if you cannot attend Congress!!
  3. You may start on the insect project in any division if your age fits the age requirements for that division. You will probably want to begin with the lowest division in which you are eligible and go on each year to the next highest division.
  4. You will exhibit your collection at 4-H Congress that is held during the summer.
  5. If you place in your division at county or state level you MUST move on to the next division the following year.  If you do not place, you will have the option of repeating the same division.
  6. You will keep an accurate record for each division you compete.
  7. You will use only adult insects in your insect collection for this division.
  8. You MAY NOT use insects that have been purchased from an insect supply house. Judges can easily detect these specimens and will DISQUALIFY your collection!
  9. For Division III, collect, properly mount, and properly label the common names of 55 different insects. You may use either common names or the scientific name (family name i.e.- "Formicidae" instead of "Ant") for each insect.  Don't forget to place a label identifying each order of insects you collect above that group of insects in your box.

    Click here for Order Labels.
  10. The Collecting 101 page will show you how to make your collection like a professional collection!  Other information on proper pinning techniques can be found in various entomology books.
  11. Print, cutout, fill in, and place in your box the "Insect Growth and Development" card found below.
  12. Boxes must be "Cornell Drawer" style boxes. They MUST measure 19 x 16.5 x3 inches and be covered with clear glass or plexiglas tops. They may be bought from an entomological supply company (recommended) or they may be made to these dimensions.  At the "Where To Find Supplies Page" there is a list of companies that sell boxes and/or other insect supplies.
  13. In your box, place a small card with your name, club, and county in the lower right hand corner.
  14. Insects must be pinned using "Insect Pins" from one of the entomological supply companies on the "Where to Find Supplies Page" are recommended. These pins are narrower, sharper, and treated so they will not rust.
  15. Scoring will be in accordance with each division requirements. A sample Project Scorecard for Division III is shown below.
  16. Do not forget to check out the "Hints for making a winning collection" page.

Sample Scorecard

Name:                 Entry #:

Club:                County:


Your Score

1. How well you followed the rules.  This is important so it is rule #1.  Did you use the proper insect box? Did you include the "Insect growth and Development Card"? Read all the rules carefully!



2. Specimens properly labeled. Be careful, some order names are easy to misspell!



3. Identification 



4. Condition of specimens, proper pinning and wing spreading, general appearance of collection. 




Insect Growth and Development Card

This card is to be included in your box with your Division III collection (SEE EXAMPLE).  Click on the image to the right, print the full size version, cut it out, label it, and then place the card in your box.  You may arrange your box any way you like.  This year there is a new card for Div III

That's It!

You should now be able to complete a Division III Collection Project.  Be sure you understand the rules for your division.  If you have any question concerning rules or anything else to do with your project please e-mail us at  Don't forget to pay particular attention to the "Hints" page and the sample scorecard on this page.  Good Luck and we will see you at Congress!!



NAME _______________________________________ AGE ___________

YEAR __________

NAME OF CLUB _________________________________________________________

COUNTY __________________________________________________





1. Did you display your in class , at Congress, or at a fair?


2. How many insects did you collect and pin?


3. List their names: