What is the 4-H Insectathon Event?

The 4-H State Insectathon Event provides 4-H youth with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of the entomology world.

Registration opens in 4-H Online on Monday, December 17, 2018, and closes on Friday, January 18, 2019.

Resources: Florida 4-H Bug Club

Webinar for Coaches, Leaders and Parents

2019 4-H Insectathon Event

When: January 26, 2019
Where: UF Entomology
Steinmetz Hall
1881 Natural Area Dr
Gainesville, FL 32608
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Contest begins
1:00 p.m. (tentative) Awards
Please bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the Natural Area Teaching Lab picnic area and hiking trails. The Florida Museum of Natural History (free) and the Butterfly Rainforest (admission cost) are also within walking distance.

January 26, 2019, UF Entomology Building

  • Insect Art Contest – The Insect Art Contest is for 4-Hers to create art about entomology or made with insects. Art can take any form. Some examples would be posters, photography, painting, or jewelry. Be creative! A junior, intermediate, and senior winner will be selected. Participants can enter up to two art entries.
  • Entomology ID & Skillathon Contest – The 4-H Entomology ID & Skillathon Contest provides 4-H youth with opportunities to test their knowledge of entomology. Contest stations include insect identification, insect damage, hands-on skillathon stations, multiple choice questions on special topics, and insect collection judging. Seniors also participate in a quiz bowl.

Who Can Compete in the Entomology ID & Skillathon Contest?

Participation is open to all 4-H club members, special interest groups, or school enrichment groups. The only requirement is that all youth be enrolled in 4-H.

Three 4-H age divisions compete: Juniors, Intermediates, and Seniors. Juniors must be between the ages of 8 and 10, Intermediates between 11 and 13, and Seniors between 14 and 18 by September 1st of the current program year.

Each county may send up to two teams plus two individuals in each 4-H age level to compete in the state event. A total of 30 youth may represent each county. Teams consist of 3-4 members.

All levels will compete in the same five sections of the contest but each age division will have different sets of study materials. Where possible, contest materials will be tailored to fit each age division.

General Study Materials

Contest Stations

Station 1: Insect Identification & Non-Insect Arthropod Identification

Time: 60 minutes

Identify insects (based on the 100 common Florida insects) and non-insect arthropods.

Station 1 Guidelines

Station 1 Study Guide (coming soon)

Station 2: Insect Damage

Time: 20 minutes

Identify damage to vegetables, fruits, trees, plants, people, animals, houses/structures and determine the insect causing the damage.

Station 2 Guidelines

Station 2 Study Guide Ag-Related Pests

Station 2 Study Guide Structural, Medical, Veterinary Pests

Station 3: Entomology Special Topic

Time: 20 minutes

Participants will answer a multiple choice quiz about the topic for the given year.

For 2018, the topic will be Pollinators.

  • Juniors – 20 multiple choice
  • Intermediates – 20 multiple choice
  • Seniors – 20 multiple choice

Station 3 Multiple Choice Example Questions

2018 Study Resource Site

Station 4: Skilllathon

Time: 3 minutes per Skillathon station

Participants will demonstrate their knowledge through hands-on stations. There will be a time limit of 3 minutes per station.

Juniors + Intermediates + Seniors

  • Adult insects/juveniles

Intermediates + Seniors

  • Bed bugs


  • Label insect structures

Station 5: Collection Judging

Time: 20 minutes

Participants will have to judge 2 classes each containing 4 collections. Participants will rank the each class from 1 (best) to 4 (worst) and provide a written reason for their placement. Refer to the Collection Contest for information on how to judge a collection.

  • Juniors will be provided with a rubric where they have to score the collections individually. They’ll have scales of 1-5 or ten questions per collection.
  • Intermediates will have the same rubric as juniors but then a section where they can add written responses for reason for points given, three short comments per collection like “pin in wrong spot, insect at angle, wrong label position”
  • Seniors will have the same rubric but more justification needed. 5-10 comments per collection.

Station 6: Quiz Bowl (seniors only)

Senior teams will participate in a quiz bowl about entomology subjects.

Example Questions: Bug Bowl

Suggested Study Resource: Bugs in the System by May Berenbaum

Note: This book was published in 1996. Many of the insect orders have been updated since then.

Insectathon Event Contact: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, UF Entomology,