About the Collection

close up of bee face

The Entomology Collection at the University of Colorado Museum was founded in the early 1900s and contains approximately 750,000 insect and 50,000 arachnid specimens dating back to the 1870s. The strengths of these collections are the Lepidoptera (particularly butterflies), Hymenoptera (particularly bees), Coleoptera (beetles), and Araneae (spiders), Orthoptera (grasshoppers), and Hemiptera (especially leafhoppers). The Entomology Collection is rich in material from the Rocky Mountain Region, but also contains specimens from throughout the United States and other parts of the world, including Mexico, Tunisia, and New Guinea. Our collection is constantly growing as we are actively engaged in collecting, research, and education. Check out a list of our current projects.

The Research Collection

The research collection contains several groups of historically important material, including collections made by T.D.A. Cockerell, one of the Museum's founders; Hugo Rodeck, former Museum Director; M.T. James; C.J. McCoy; B. Vogel; and former curator, Url Lanham. There are also several important collections that have been donated or deposited in the Entomology Collection. These include collections by G. Alexander (Orthoptera), F.M. Brown (Lepidoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera), W.N. Burdick (Lepidoptera), D. Eff (Lepidoptera), C.W. Hicks (Hymenoptera), T. Kincaid (Hymenoptera and other insects of the Pacific northwest), B. Rotger (Coleoptera and Lepidoptera), F.K. Smith (Coleoptera), R. Watkins (Lepidoptera), and T. Macior (bumble bees). There are also several important voucher collections deposited here, assembled from research on local insects, including collections from S. Armstead, S. Collinge, S. Hinners, C. Kearns & D. Oliveras, and K. Mooney.

Our specimens are made available to researchers throughout the world by means of loans. In addition to providing our specimens for research, we house voucher specimens for research conducted on insects or spiders by University of Colorado faculty and students and strongly encourage all researchers here at the University to deposit voucher specimens in our collection. Are you a researcher interested in using or contributing to our collection? Check out our Policies and Procedures to get started.

The Teaching Collection

Separate teaching collections are maintained for use by the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO) Department and the Mountain Research Station. In addition, there are various smaller collections within the Entomology Section that are used for classes and outreach. If you are interested in any of our education materials, please Contact Us.