Walt's Look Around: Bug Museum - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Bug Museum

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
MISSISSIPPI STATE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Its spring time and that not only means piles of pollen, but bunches of bugs. We even have a bug museum in Mississippi.

Not only do they have millions and millions of insects there, if you have a question that is bugging you, it is where you can find the answer; at the Entomology Museum at Mississippi State.

Just so you’ll have an idea of how many bugs we’re talking about in Mississippi, here’s some examples for you.  I think I’ve had nearly every one of these on my windshield at one time or another.  But as far as these being all the insects in the state, far from it.  

"For that matter, we don’t know how many insect species are in Mississippi," said Mississippi Entomoligical Museum Director Richard Brown. "We’re finding new ones every week.

These are insects from around the world; beautiful butterflies and moths, beetles of all sizes and colorations; some that look like jewelry.  an amazing collection of the colorful and unusual.

Some are very large varieties, some so tiny that they are smaller than the pin head attaching them to the mounting board.  And they all, all million plus of them, have a bunch of data printed identifying them; all the Latin stuff, as well as where and when it was collected and things like that.

But the bugs are here for more than looks.  They are used extensively in research.  Not only here in Mississippi, but some 400 collections are on loan to other researchers around the world right now.  

They are used , among other things, to help identify insects in the wild.  If an invasive insect has arrived in the U.S., it needs to have a name in order to be quarantined.  Here’s where samples are sent and compared and identified.  You can do this too.  If you have a pest bugging you and you don’t know what it is, get it to the Entomology lab and then give them a while to look it up.  And the process to get samples here is getting easier.

"I’ve gotten them on Scotch tape that have been stamped flat," added Richard. "But ideally they are enclosed in a container to where they don’t get mashed.  Or alternatively, you can find our museum very easily by Googling “Entomology Museum” and then there are directions for submitting specimens or digital photographs.

I’ll just submit a snapshot of my windshield after my next night trip out around Mississippi, some summer evening. That should keep them busy for a while.

I don't need their name so much as I need to know if Off will keep them from biting me.

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