Insect Identification Service
The University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum provides insect identifications to individuals, businesses, schools, colleges, and government agencies. This service is provided free of charge for single specimens and small samples. A consulting fee will be charged for identification of large numbers of specimens and samples.
It is often possible to satisfactorily identify insects from high quality digital photographs. Photographs should be emailed to the Curator, Dr. Jeffrey Barnes: email@example.com. Include a note describing where and when the insect was found, what it was doing, where it occurred, and why it is of interest to you. Also include your name, address, telephone number, and email address.
For positive identification, please send specimens to the Curator: Dr. Jeffrey Barnes, Department of Entomology, 319 Agriculture Building, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701. Include a note describing where and when the insect was found, what it was doing, where it occurred, and why it is of interest to you. Also include your name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Most specimens – those with relatively hard bodies – can be killed by placing them in the freezer for a few minutes. Wrap them lightly in tissue paper and place them in a small box, vial, or other sturdy, crush-proof container.
Soft-bodied specimens, such as caterpillars, grubs, and other immature arthropods, can be killed by placing them in hot water. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then remove it from the stove and drop the insect into the water. Remove it after a few seconds have passed. Usually no more than one minute is required. Place the insect in a vial of alcohol.
Spiders, ticks, and many other arthropods can be dropped directly into a vial of alcohol.
Do not send specimens taped to a piece of paper or tossed into a plastic bag.