Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

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Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Where to collect?


I am wondering where it's ok (legal) to collect insects? I have always been interested in insects and have worked in a few entomology labs. However, I'm just now getting serious about collecting. I'm just curious where people choose to do their gathering. I have/plan on collecting in my backyard, parks and ditches as well as other places that I may find myself. I do know that most parks (National and State) don't let people take things from them; also, while working we had to have permits to be in and take samples from certain places. I just don't want to do this the wrong way and any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for the help!


Nat Forest
This question gets discussed occasionally and it is best to check locally wherever you live. In general, national forest allows collecting (restrictions for anything commercial). National Parks generally do not allow collecting. State parks vary. Bureau of land management usually allows collecting. On private land, collecting is almost always allowed with permission of owner.
When in doubt about a specific site, just inquire of whatever entity owns the space.

Nat Forest
Do you have a citation for the rules on collecting in National Forest land? I have some spots I'd like to collect a couple of species in the forest.

If you want to collect in the National Parks, you need to talk to the park research director or collections manager. I had my name added to a permit one summer to collect for a researcher. I suspect collecting for your own use would be out.

Here is a pdf link to a memo addressing the issue of collecting in national forests:

Here is a copy of the same memo on USDA letterhead:

I can't vouch for their authenticity, but they look authentic to me.

Looks good

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