Sorry for a relatively mundane question, but I figure someone out there might have some good information, so… here goes. Please feel free to send replies directly to me.


Long story short, I will be going on an extended-family vacation centered on Custer State Park in South Dakota in the last part of June. To keep myself fully occupied I will likely bring along an FIT and a Malaise trap or two as well as my hand-collecting gear. However, as everything I know about South Dakota could fit on the back of a Corn Palace postcard I was hoping someone could recommend specific localities and interesting habitats I might want to visit. I am most interested in beetles from odd/rare habitats or specialized microhabitats such as fungus/rotten logs, hot springs/waterfalls, rodent and ant nests, etc.; really anything above and beyond sweeping roadside vegetation (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I don’t think I’m going to mess with caves, though.


While I will bring home a little bit of everything in addition to the beetles, I will consciously avoid any insects considered “rare” by South Dakota or on their State or Federal T/E list (see: ), thus obviating the need for a free collecting permit for the state park (though I may go ahead and ask for one anyway, just in case). As a side note, I recently became aware that Kansas Dept. of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism now requires permits to collect insects on state property (as of a few years ago). They cost $12.50- any revenue in a storm, I suppose…


I will also avoid collecting on any Dept. of the Interior lands (e.g., National Parks and Monuments) but do plan on collecting in the Black Hills National Forest and would love to get recommendations for contacts and localities there. After reading through the online regs *again*, I’m still a little fuzzy on the need for a “Special Use Permit”. Apparently the Lep folks spoke up ( ) and got the NFS to recommend that “the collection of insects by forest visitors” be excluded from requiring a Special Use Permit while “collection activities that are not recreational in nature, such as those requested by universities, research institutions and professional societies” be required to obtain a permit ( ). Now I will be on vacation, spending my own time and money and collecting just for the heck of it (“recreationally”, I guess), but I am also an employee of a university and the specimens will be deposited here at KU, so… I guess I’ll go ahead and ask for a Special Use Permit, again, just in case.


Anyway, if any of you know juicy, interesting spots in the Black Hills to collect beetles, please do let me know! I collect everything into 95% and would be happy to send duplicates to interested parties…





Zachary H. Falin, Ph.D.

Collections Manager,


Division of Entomology,

KU Biodiversity Institute

1501 Crestline Dr., Suite 140

Lawrence, KS 66045-4401



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