Scouting/BSA/Insect Study Merit Badge
|The requirements to this merit badge are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. They are reproduced in part here under fair use as a resource for Scouts and Scouters to use in the earning and teaching of merit badges. The requirements published by the Boy Scouts of America should always be used over the list here. If in doubt about the accuracy of a requirement, consult your Merit Badge Counselor.|
|Reading this page does not satisfy any requirement for any merit badge. Per National regulations, the only person who may sign off on requirements is a Merit Badge Counselor, duly registered and authorized by the local Council. To obtain a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, or to begin a Merit Badge, please contact your Scoutmaster or Council Service Center.|
- Tell how insects are different from all other animals. Show the differences between insects, centipedes, and spiders.
- Segmented bodies (head/thorax/abdomen)
- Compound eyes
- Excretory and Reproductive systems are on the abdomen; excretion directly effects osmoregulation
- An exoskeleton made of chitin
- Six segmented legs
- Point out and name the main parts of an insect.
Describe the characteristics that distinguish the principal families and orders of insects.
Do the Following:
a.Observe 20 different live species of insects in their habitat. In your observations, include at least four orders of insects.
b.Make a scrapbook of the 20 insects you observe in 4a. Include photographs, sketches, illustrations, and articles. Label each insect with its common and scientific names, where possible. Share your scrapbook with your merit badge counselor.
- Describe the characteristics that distinguish the principal families and orders of insects.
|Symphypleona - globular springtails|
|Archaeognatha (jumping bristletails)||long body that tapers at dorsal end, body covered in small scales, many-segmented antennae, three cerci (middle one largest)|
|Thysanura (common bristletails)||long antennae, long body tapered in middle, three cerci of equal length, outer two extending away from body, small compound eyes or eyeless|
|Subclass Pterygota||winged (or "secondarily wingless")|
|Ephemeroptera (mayflies)||fresh water insects, brief adult life|
|Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)||catch prey in flight, two pairs of independent wings, long tails, large round heads with large eyes|
|Blattodea (cockroaches)||thorax covered by a plate (pronotum), chewing mouthparts, flat, oval shape|
|Mantodea (mantids)||hardened forewings, long, slender body, triangular head with distinctive ocelli|
|Isoptera (termites)||social insects that eat wood, antennae as long as head|
|Dermaptera (earwigs)||large wings folded under short, leathery wings|
|Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)||incomplete metamorphosis|
|Phasmatodea (walking sticks, timemas)||hardened forewings which cover hind wings, filiform antennae|
|Embioptera (webspinners)||front tarsi large, contains silk glands, short legs, 2 short cerci, unequal in length in females|
|Psocoptera (booklice, barklice)||soft bodies, large heads with protruding eyes|
|Phthiraptera (lice)||wingless parasites|
|Hemiptera (true bugs)||piercing and sucking mouthpieces present throughout life cycle|
|Thysanoptera (thrips)||fringed wings|
|Megaloptera (alderflies, dobsonflies, etc.)||2 pairs of equal wings, held over the head when at rest, filiform antennae which taper to the end|
|Neuroptera (net-veined insects)||four membraneous, veiny wings, chewing mouthparts, forewings and hindwings are the same size|
|Coleoptera (beetles)||forewings are hard shells|
|Strepsiptera (twisted-winged parasites)||insect parasites|
|Mecoptera (scorpionflies, etc.)||long antennae, mandibulate mouthparts located at the end of a beak-like projection|
|Siphonaptera (fleas)||parasites of mammal or bird blood, enlarged hind legs, strong tarsal claws|
|Diptera (true flies)||hind wings are halteres, large compound eyes, short antennae|
|Trichoptera (caddisflies)||two unequal pairs of wings, covered in fine hairs and held over the abdomen at rest, reduced mouthparts|
|Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths)||four stage lifecycle, one ocelli above each eye|
|Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, etc.)||females have hardened ovipositor, mostly social insects|
|Families (not all)|
|Cicadidae||Cicadas; eyes set far apart, well-veined wings|
|Cercopidae||froghoppers; larvae produce a protective covering with plant sap|
|Psyllidae||Jumping plant lice; mouthparts located at rear of head|
|Cupedidae||Square pattern of "windows" on elytra|
|Rhyncophthirina||Mouthparts adapted to pierce thick elephant and warthog skin|
|Amblycera||Do not permanently attach to hosts|
|Culicidae||Mosquitoes; mouthparts adapted to pierce skin and suck blood|
|Geometridae||Loopers; forewings broad and triangular, hind wings almost equal, rest all day with wings outstretched and flat|
|Noctuidae||Noctuids, cutworms, armyworms; eyes reflect orange light, nocturnal|
|Pyralidae||Pyralid moths; long legs, proboscis covered in scales and beak-like|
|Lycaenidae||Blues, coppers, hairstreaks; mostly with flattened antennal club|
|Nymphalidae||Admirals, browns, fritillaries; small, hairy forelegs, long hind legs|
|Vespidae||Social wasps and potter wasps; wings foled longitudinally over body when at rest|
|Formicidae||Ants; wingless, with elbowed antennae and a long scape|
|Apidae||Bees; have hairy legs and pollen baskets, mouthparts specialized into tongues|
|Ichneumonidae||Ichneumon wasps; long, thin ovipositor|
|Pergidae||Sawflies; do not have the wasp waist, ovipositor saw-like|
|Sphecidae||Sand wasps and mud daubers; mostly solitary|
|Pompilidae||Spider wasps; flick wings while hunting, move using short hops|
- Show your collection.
- Compare the life histories of a butterfly and a grasshopper. Tell how they are different.
- Raise an insect through complete metamorphosis from its larval stage to its adult stage (eg, raise a butterfly or moth from a caterpillar).
- Tell the things that make social insects different from solitary insects.
- Observe an ant colony or a beehive. Tell that you saw.
- From your collection, identify four species of insects helpful to humans and six species of insects harmful to humans.
- Describe some general methods of insect control.
- Tell how insects fit in the food chains of other insects, fish, birds, and mammals.
- Insect Study Merit Badge with Workbook PDF, current requirements, and resources.
|Earning Merit Badges in the Boy Scouts of America|
|Nature and Conservation|
|Astronomy | Bird Study | Environmental Science | Fish and Wildlife Management | Fishing | Forestry | Gardening | Geology | Insect Study | Mammal Study | Nature | Reptile and Amphibian Study | Soil and Water Conservation | Weather|