Thursday, 4 November 2010

Insect farming

Insect specimens can be big business. There are enough people out there with money to spare, and who find large and colourful insects such as butterflies, jewel beetles and certain scarab and longhorn beetles worth spending it on. As in all things, this offers both an opportunity and a challenge. Typically, countries with an abundance of desirable specimens are in the tropics and are classed as developing countries. The insect trade offers a high-value export product that can be sustainably produced and can give value to undisturbed habitats. The converse is the usual danger of unsustainable production and unscrupulous middlemen

The sites that follow are a selection of insect trading websites that I've found that are well illustrated, and have some sort of connection with the Pacific. I am not involved with any of these companies, and cannot vouch for the ethics of their trading practises.

Papua New Guinea company, The Insect Farming and Trading Agency, functions as a link between rural insect collectors and breeders and the trade, and sells a range of butterflies and beetles.

The Insect-Sale site is a Taiwan based outfit that exports insects collected from throughout the world, and particularly South East Asia. It boasts that it has the world's largest number of online insect photographs, and is also notable for its gallery of freak insect specimens.

Finally, InsectNet serves as a portal for a number of other sites that offer insect specimens for sale.

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