Insect Identification Contest
Superintendent – Jim Kalisch, Lincoln
- Participant Eligibility:
- Participant must be 10 years old on January 1 of the current year.
- Contestants must be 4-H members at the time of the contest.
- Contestant eligibility will be verified by county extension staff.
- Participants are required to pay a non-refundable fee of $5/person.
- Participants will be notified of the location of the contest prior to State Fair.
- General rules from the 4-H section of the Nebraska State Fair apply.
Age divisions will be determined by their 4-H age, the age of the youth before January 1 of the current year.
- F500031 Intermediate: Ages 10-13
- F500030 Senior: Ages 14-18
- Participants may enter only as an individual.
- Individuals compete according to their age division.
- Members do NOT need to be enrolled in a 4-H Entomology project to participate.
- Contestants will have at least an hour to identify 50-60 insect specimens. Identifications will be scored strictly by the names given on the Specimen Study List, as common names may vary according to resources studied.
- Contestants will identify specimens by common name only, and will use a key consisting of eligible orders and insects from which to write the corresponding letter (for order) and number (for insects) on an answer sheet. Every 5th specimen will have a multiple-choice insect knowledge question about the insect. The question may require the meaning of the order name, type of antennae, legs or mouthparts, kind of metamorphosis, a fact about biology, or the scientific name of the specimen. Scoring: Each correct order answer is worth 1 point, and each correct insect answer is worth 1 point. Each multiple-choice question is worth 2 points.
- Contestants should not touch specimens during the contest. Magnifying lenses and printed images will accompany tiny specimens.
- Ties will be broken with a supplemental tie-breaker section at the end of the contest answer sheet consisting of 10 specimens to identify to order along with 2 insect knowledge questions. These specimens will be much more difficult to identify.
- Pencils and clipboards will be provided for contestants.
- Specimen List - pdf | doc
- Study List with images - pdf
- Key for Answer Sheet - 2017
- Participant Answer Sheet - pdf
- Study Resources:
- 4-H Entomology, University of Nebraska Extension 4-H Curriculum 4H4120, 2015.
- Insectigator: Bug or Insect - Do You Know the Difference? University of Nebraska Extension 4-H Curriculum 4H4110, 2009.
- Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America, by Arthur Evans, National Wildlife Federation, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 2007.
- Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, by Eric R. Eaton and Kenn Kaufman, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders, by Lorus and Margery Milne, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1980.
- Peterson Field Guide to Insects, by Donald J. Borror, Richard E. White, and Roger Tory Peterson,1998.
Individuals for both age divisions:
- Medals: Gold (1st), Silver (2nd), Bronze (3rd)
- Placement Ribbons: 1st through 10th place individual ribbons