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Why Study Insects?

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Many crops depend on insects; others can be destroyed by them. Economically it's important to know as much about them as possible. Scientists estimate that there are some 100,000 insect species in Australia, many of which are yet to be discovered.

The Australian National Insect Collection enables insects collected from all parts of Australia to be studied in one place. Preserved insects are mounted and photographed; drawings and paintings are made to emphasise certain features and provide a permanent record of colour. Live specimens are also studied, both in the laboratory and in the field.

The scanning electron microscope and computers aid the taxonomist in distinguishing between closely-related species and in the quick, accurate identification of newly discovered pests.

The information made available is not only of immediate economic benefit, it also adds to our store of knowledge about the environment.

Produced in 1983.

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