Entomology is one of my favorite branches of biology – along with mycology – and I’m not the only one who feels this way. More and more people are becoming interested in insects every day, and some are even choosing to pursue a lifelong career or hobby inspired by their love for all things bug.
If you aren’t well-versed or interested in insects yourself, it can be difficult to find a suitable gift. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of some of the best gifts you can get for entomologists and insect lovers. Hopefully, it’ll make your search for the perfect gift a little easier.
1. The Insects: An Outline of Entomology
If the person you’re buying a gift for is interested in learning more about entomology – or even pursuing a career in it – this book is a great gift for them.
It’s basically a textbook of all things entomology. It provides a comprehensive introduction to entomology, and covers topics such as insects as food for humans and animals, insect responses to (and consequences) of both climate change and human-assisted global alterations, and key features of insect structure, function, behavior, ecology and classification.
2. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders: North America
This book focuses less on theory/study and more on practicality. It’s the most comprehensive field guide available to the insects and spiders of North America.
It includes 700 full color identification photographs, descriptive text for each insect including measurements, diagnostic details, information on habitat, range, feeding habits, sounds/songs, flight period, web construction, life cycle, behaviors, folklore, and environmental impact.
If you want to be able to recognize what bug you’re looking at, this is the book to buy.
3. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies
The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies is written in the same format as the one above, but focuses solely on butterflies. It includes descriptive photographs and text for each entry, including measurements, descriptions of each stage of the life cycle, information on coloring or distinguishing markings, flight period, habitat, and range.
4. Common Spiders of North America
If spiders are your giftee’s favorite terrestrial invertebrates, this is a fitting gift. Common Spiders of North America is a comprehensive guide – much like the ones mentioned above – to all 68 spider families in North America. It covers 469 of the most common species, and includes detailed illustrations along with species descriptions including identification tips, typical habitat, geographic distribution, behavioral notes, and more.
5. Innumerable Insects
Innumerable Insects: The Story of the Most Diverse and Myriad Animals on Earth is a highly acclaimed and well-received book written by noted entomologist Michael S. Engel. It tells the story of the estimated 5 million insect species on Earth, and explores insects’ evolution and diversity, metamorphosis, pests, parasites, plagues, camouflage, pollination, and exciting tales of discovery by intrepid entomologists.
It’s an all-rounder that covers a large variety of topics, and is less dense than a textbook, making it a more pleasurable read.
6. The Beekeeper’s Handbook
The Beekeepers Handbook is the classic guide to the hobby and profession of beekeeping. It’s been around since 1973, and has been used by thousands of individuals, both experts and beginners. The book includes over 100 illustrations, and provides the reader with step-by-step directions to guide them through setting up their apiary, handling bees, working throughout the season to maintain a healthy colony, and ensuring they have a reliable supply of honey.
It goes in-depth on the various hive care techniques, providing advantages and disadvantages so the reader can decide what technique will be best for their own colony. It also covers Colony Collapse Disorder, and procedures for managing diseases and pests such as African honey bees and bee mites.
7. The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild
If the person you’re buying a gift for loves bees, but isn’t interested in creating their own hive, this is the perfect book for them.
The Lives of Bees tells the story of how bees live in the wild, and discusses their behavior, social life, and survival strategies.
It also explains how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet’s managed honey bee populations, and goes in depth on the reasons why wild honey bees are thriving, while managed colonies are in crisis.
8. The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator
The deadliest animal in the world, in terms of how many people it kills every year, is by far the mosquito. Mosquitoes kill more people than people kill people – they truly are the world’s most dangerous animal.
The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator is a narrative nonfiction that offers a new perspective on the history of mankind. It exhibits how, through the millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate. If Earth lacked our deadly blood sucking companions, our history and the world we call home would be drastically different.
It’s an outstanding read, and I recommend it to insect lovers and everyone alike.
9. Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects is a dark comedy that sheds light on our sinister relationship with the world’s worst entomological enemies.
It discusses how certain insects – like the world’s most painful hornet, the flies that transmit deadly diseases, millipedes that stop traffic, and “bookworms” that devour libraries – cause great inconvenience and tragedy for Humanity.
It’s interesting, informative, and hilarious. If the person you’re buying a gift for enjoys insects and comedy, this is the book I’d recommend for them.
10. Ultimate Bugopedia: The Most Complete Bug Reference Ever
Ultimate Bugopedia is like a kiddie version of National Audubon Society’s Field Guides, and it is much more fitting for young children. It contains tons of interesting facts, is a fully photographic book, and is much less jargon heavy, making it much more kid-friendly.
11. The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook
Ancient humans ate bugs, and to this day, for many people, eating bugs is a common occurrence.
Many cultures around the world still consume insects. In Ghana, when food is scarce during the springtime, termites are their primary source of protein. In Thailand, bugs are seasoned and fried until crispy and served as a street food snack. In Mexico bugs are sometimes fried, sometimes dipped in chocolate, and sometimes served in the form of liquor. In Japan, you can get yourself some fried grasshopper or fried silk moth pupae. The list goes on and on.
If you haven’t already, why not try it yourself? It’s fun and delicious. The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook is the perfect place to start.
It’s a go-to resource for anyone interested in consuming insects. It’s filled with recipes, information on health and environmental benefits of insect eating, and practical how-tos for anyone interested in becoming a full-fledged insect eater.
FOOD & DRINK
12. Bag of Edible Bugs
If the person you’re buying a gift for isn’t keen on cooking, or would appreciate a less DIY introduction to insect eating, getting them a bag of edible bugs isn’t a bad idea. This one includes grasshoppers, crickets, silkworms, sago worms, and they are boiled and dehydrated instead of fried, to maintain structure and flavor.
If you’re worried that your giftee won’t enjoy the taste of boiled, dehydrated bugs, Crick-ettes are a great alternative. Think chips, but in bug form. They come in three different flavors – sour cream & onion, salt n’ vinegar, and bacon & cheese.
14. Insect Lollipop
These lollipops are a great gift for kids interested in insects and entomology. They’re fun, come in multiple tasty flavors, and are a lot less intimidating than eating fried crickets or boiled silkworms.
15. EXO Protein Bars
While health-minded individuals might not enjoy fried crickets, I have a hard time believing they won’t go crazy over these cricket protein bars. They’re gluten/lactose-free, are packed full of iron and other essential nutrients, and each bar contains a whopping 10 grams of protein.
They come in four different flavors – banana bread, cocoa nut, PB & J, and blueberry muffin.
16. Cricket Flour
This is another great gift for health-minded individuals. Pure Cricket powder, made from North American roasted crickets, is a high protein alternative to whey, soy, hemp, and pea protein powder. It works well in shakes, smoothies, baked goods, and more.
Just two tablespoons provides 11 grams of protein and 90% of the average adults daily vitamin B12 requirement.
GEAR & SHELTERS
If the person you’re buying a gift for is interested in starting their own bee colony, and want to harvest honey from it, they will need a hive frame. It acts as the exterior of the hive and provides a foundation for the bees to begin laying down their honeycomb.
This one made by Hoover Hives has 10 frames and is coated with 100% natural beeswax to provide protection from the elements. Its foundations have also been dipped in beeswax to encourage bees to quickly accept their new home.
There are simpler bee habitats on the market, but if you want to be able to safely harvest honey from them, this is the type you wanna get.
18. Beekeeping Supplies
A beekeeping tool kit will also come in handy for those interested in starting their own beehive. This one comes with six tools:
- Beehive Smoker – used to safely sedate bees.
- Beehive Brush – used to separate bees from the honey frames.
- Stainless Steel Frame Grip – used to make removing heavy frames easier/safer for you and your bees.
- Stainless Steel Scraper Tool – used to help your clean bee case.
- Entrance Feeder – used to help feed your colony when necessary.
- Uncapping Fork Tool – used to uncap sunken areas of honeycomb that cannot be decapped with a knife.
19. Hanging Bee House
This is a perfect example of a smaller, more simple bee habitat. If the person you’re buying a gift for is interested in bees, but isn’t interested in having their own hive for the sake of honey production, this is a good gift for them.
This bamboo beehive provides the perfect habitat for various species of wild bees, and during winter, provides shelter from the cold. It’s easy to hang, and once hung, is hands free.
20. Butterfly Garden
Butterfly gardens are a fun hands-on gift for kids that’ll teach them how to care for caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies. It also allows them to witness one of nature’s most amazing transformations, and will help spark their interest in science.
21. Magnifying Glass
A magnifying glass allows you to closely inspect your surroundings, and spot details that the naked eye would miss. Anyone interested in taking a closer look at insects would enjoy owning one.
A microscope is like a magnifying glass x1000. It opens up a new world, and one we were blind to for the large majority of human history. They allow us to see details that the naked eye could never see – cells and cellular components.
The fact that they aren’t exuberantly expensive anymore and are easily accessible amazes me.
FUN & GAMES
There’s not much to say about Bug-Opoly other than its like monopoly, but insect inspired. If you haven’t played Monopoly, it’s a classic 2-6 player game that focuses on fast-dealing property trading, and creating a monopoly.
24. National Geographic Amber Exploration Kit
It says it’s for kids, but I think most people interested in entomology or insects, regardless of age, would enjoy it.
Nat Geo’s Amber Exploration Science Kit comes with five pieces of real amber, that each have the possibility of containing ancient insects. There’s no guarantee what you find – anything from priceless rare bugs, aphids, leaves, or nothing at all have been found. You polish each piece of amber to find out what’s inside.
25. National Geographic Real Bug Dig Kit
This is like Nat Geo’s Amber Kit, but a bit different.
National Geographic’s Real Bug Dig Kit comes with three perfectly preserved insect specimens – a spiny spider, fortune beetle, and scorpion – and you have to excavate through the provided rocks to find each insect.
If you’re not a fan of the uncertainty of the amber kit, this is a good alternative.
26. Bug Bingo
Bug Bingo – like bingo, but insect inspired. It comes with illustrated bingo cards, featuring 64 different species of bugs from around the world, and allows for a more educational twist to traditional bingo. The game itself is extremely well-made and durable.
27. Wonderful Insects Coloring Book
Who doesn’t love coloring books, am I right? This one is the one I prefer because it’s not too whimsical, and maintains some realistic anatomy.
28. Praying Mantis Finger Puppet
Praying mantises are one of my favorite insects, and I thought this was adorable. It’s perfect for kids, or those who have kids.
HOME & GARDEN DECOR
Home and garden decor make for a splendid gift, especially when it’s inspired by one’s hobbies or profession. Your surroundings are important, and having nice things to decorate your house with that remind you of the things you like feels good.
Here are some fun entomology inspired decor gifts, ones that I liked the most, and had the best reviews.
29. Butterflies Art Print
30. Insects Identification Print
31. Butterfly Taxidermy Display
32. Rare Insect Taxidermy Set
33. Butterfly Resin Paperweight
34. Beetle Resin Paperweight
35. Scorpion Resin Paperweight
36. Solar Honey Bee String Lights
37. Solar Dragon Fly String Lights
38. Rose Gold Butterfly String Lights
39. Beetle Throw Pillow
40. Bee Throw Pillow
41. Cockroach Plushie
42. Honey Bee Plushie
43. Butterfly Bedding Set
44. Brew Beetle Tea Infuser
45. Ladybug Teapot
46. Ladybug Sponge Holder
47. Dragonfly Stoneware Mug
48. Bumble Bee Wall Statue
49. Dragonfly Sun Catcher
50. Bee Sun Catcher
51. Praying Mantis Garden Sculpture & Stake
We all wear clothes, whether it’s around the house or out and about, so what’s wrong with getting someone a t-shirt that is inspired by the things they love?
If anything, it shows how much you listen and care about their hobbies. Here’s a list of some of the best entomology and insect related apparel:
52. Fun T-Shirt
53. Realistic T-Shirt
54. Bee Socks
55. Bee Tie
56. Baseball Cap
57. Monarch Butterfly Patch
58. Realistic Insect Patches
59. Cicada Pendant
60. Bee Brooch
61. Moth Brooch
Those are all the gift ideas I could think of for individuals interested in entomology. I know there are tons more, so if you feel like there’s one I didn’t mention, feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy gift giving!
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Hi, I’m Ash!
I’m a laid back traveler who loves experiencing new things and spontaneity. My favorite hobbies are hiking, gardening, skincare, and all things tea.
My biggest goal is to spread the word about sustainable travel and show everyone how easy it is to partake in. If you wanna learn more about that or get to know me better, feel free to click here.