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Specimen Holdings

Apterygota. The collection has good coverage of species from the Great Lakes region, primarily from the soil studies of Nelson Hairston and the general collections of OConnor. Most specimens remain in residue lots.

Ephemeroptera (3000 vials). The collection, again largely comprising Great Lakes material is mostly identified and contains many reared series from the research and collections of Justin Leonard and F.E. Lyman. Many immatures from numerous exotic localities, particularly from Mexico and South America, were obtained by Carl Hubbs and others associated with the museum's Fish Division. The collection is largely catalogued.

Odonata (1220 drawers; 5600 vials; numerous slides of genitalia and wings, ca. 3000+ species). The Odonata collection is one of the top collections in North America, consisting primarily of the combined collections made or obtained by E.B. Williamson, C.H. Kennedy, M. Wright and L.K. Gloyd, including the Förster collection which was purchased by the UMMZ. The most recent substantial growth is due to the efforts of the Michigan Odonata Survey. The collection is world-wide in scope, but with strong emphasis on the Americas. Approximately 40% of the collection is North American, 15% Central American, and 20% South American, particularly the northern and Andean regions. These collections, made largely by Williamson and Kennedy, consist of good series of specimens from many localities, largely identified or sorted into unnamed species. The 25% of the collection from the Old World is synoptic, containing at least one species from 80-90% of nominal genera. This material, primarily from the Förster collection or obtained by purchase or exchange, is also largely identified. The collection also rich in unstudied research material, particularly from Central and South America. Most of the North American specimens are databased.

Plecoptera (1000 vials). This collection consists mostly of Great Lakes specimens, primarily from the collections of J.W. Leonard. Most specimens are identified. Most of the collection is catalogued.

Orthoptera (2,250 drawers; 56,000 vials & jars). This collection, assembled largely through the efforts of T.H. Hubbell, I.J. Cantrall, and T.J. Cohn and their students and collaborators, is second in size in the Western Hemisphere only to that of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The collection is world-wide in scope, but is richest in New World material, especially Mexico, Central and South America. Large collections from Australia (primarily crickets), the Pacific islands and Malaysia have recently been added by R.D. Alexander. The material is largely identified or sorted to undescribed morpho-species. Approximately 190,000 specimens, mostly Acrididae, have been cataloged to date.

Other orthopteroid orders (340 drawers; 1000 vials & jars). Significant collections of Blattoidea, Mantodea, Phasmida and Dermaptera from many parts of the world are held. Much of the material is unidentified but sorted to morphospecies.

Heteroptera  (253 drawers; 1400 vials & jars). The collection is rich in material from the Great Lakes region, Florida, Central America and Africa, largely through the collecting efforts of R.F. Hussey. J.R. Torre-Bueno and R. Matsuda also contributed to the scope of this collection. Many aquatic taxa were obtained from J.W. Leonard and personnel associated with the UMMZ's Fish Division.

Homoptera (280 drawers; 1300 vials & jars). The Museum holds a large collection of Cicadidae, largely North American, but all world-wide subfamilies represented, with associated sound recordings, through the efforts of T.E. Moore and R.D. Alexander. Coverage of other groups is moderate in size and largely North American in scope.

Phthiraptera (500 slides, 1200 vials). Extensive collections of lice from both birds and mammals are held. Coverage is largely North American, with additional significant collections from Egypt, Madagascar, the Philippines and Paraguay. Most specimens remain unidentified and in fluid, but with full host data. Early collections were accumulated by Norman Wood of the museum's Bird Division in the 1920's, with OConnor adding most recent material. Most of the latter collections are vouchered with the hosts' museum catalogue numbers.

Other orders (600 vials). A synoptic collection of Psocoptera from the E.S. George Reserve is identified. Some other collections from North America are present. Collections of Thysanoptera, Zoraptera and Embioptera are small.

Neuroptera (41 drawers; 200 vials & jars). The Neuroptera (sensu latu) collection is large, and mostly North American, except for a worldwide collection of Myrmeleontidae, obtained from Förster. Good collections of immatures of aquatic taxa obtained from J.W. Leonard and Fish Division expeditions are also present.

Mecoptera (10 drawers; 50 vials). Holdings are relatively small, mostly North American, with some Asian species collected by George Byers.

Siphonaptera (700 slides, 450 vials). Good synoptic collections of North American fleas are present, mostly determined by Robert Traub and OConnor. Some exotic materials from the Philippines, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina and Madagascar have been recently obtained by OConnor. Most of the latter collections remain in fluid and are not yet identified.

Coleoptera (1670 drawers; 2200 vials & jars). The beetle collection is relatively large and worldwide in scope, with emphasis on North America, Central America, South America, and selected Old World areas. The nucleus of the collection is the extensive Great Lakes collection made by A.W. Andrews to which was added through gift or purchase the collections of E. Liljeblad, M.Y. Marshall, H.J. Rust, and E.E. Calder (North America), E.M. Ledyard (Philippines), B.C.Z. Evans (West Africa) and F. Förster (Europe). More recently, the collection of Frank Ammermann was donated. This collection is especially rich in Curculionoidea and contains extensive materials purchased from P.S. Nathan (India), F. Plaumann and L. Peña (South America). Frank N. Young has also donated large collections of aquatic Coleoptera, primarily from North America. D.C.L. Gosling’s significant Cerambycidae collection contains many reared specimens from Michigan.

Hymenoptera (550 drawers; 14,000 vials & jars). The collection is especially rich in Formicidae collected by F.M Gaige. Most ant collections are from North America and the northern Neotropics, with smaller collections from Africa and Asia. The Museum has a good collection of North American Apoidea and includes the large collection of bees from the E.S. George Reserve assembled by F.C. Evans. Representation of Great Lakes Aculeata is good, largely through the efforts R. R. Dreisbach, with smaller collections of Parasitica from Henry Townes. Many of the Aculeata include prey records. Recent acquisitions of large series of Malaise trap residues from other sites in Michigan, Colorado, Malaysia and Costa Rica have yielded many as yet unidentified Hymenoptera.

Diptera (810 drawers; 1300 vials & jars). The collection of Tipulidae, built by J.S. Rogers, is extensive in that, although largely limited to species from eastern North America, it contains large series of specimens of each species and the finest collection of reared larvae and pupae in the world. Other dipteran groups well represented by North and Central American material include the Tabanidae, Bombyliidae, Dolichopodidae, Syrphidae, Stratiomyidae and Asilidae. Major contributors to the Diptera collections other than Rogers include George Steyskal and R. R. Dreisbach. The collection of H.D. Cameron was deposited here in 2006.

Trichoptera (2600 vials, 7 drawers). The Trichoptera collection consists primarily of material resulting from J.W. Leonard's work in Michigan, but there is a considerable amount of material from other collectors and other parts of the world. Most of the vials have been cataloged.

Lepidoptera (1160 drawers; 475 vials). The Lepidoptera collection was accumulated largely by W.W. Newcomb and Sherman Moore and consists of a very complete collection of Great Lakes species and an average collection of exotics obtained by them through purchases or exchanges. Particularly noteworthy are the collections of microlepidoptera from Ralph Beebe and tropical collections from Marston Bates. The Division also holds a good collection of tropical Satyridae donated by W.F. Lawler. More recently, the curation of the Lepidoptera has been improved by talented associates from the Biology Department including W.H. Wagner, Jr., Brian Scholtens and Robert Raguso. In 2003, the collection was be expanded by the addition of about 10,000 specimens from the estate of W.H. Wagner, Jr.  There is a significant amount of unmounted material, particularly from the Philippines and West Africa.

Non-insect arthropods (excluding Acari) (2200 vials & jars). The museum has a general representation of orders and families of spiders and other arachnids, and Myriapoda. Most spiders are from the Great Lakes region, with a small number of exotics. The recently acquired Malaysian malaise trap residues have yielded numerous spider specimens. The myriapod collection includes specimens from Mexico, Central America and the Philippines in addition to North America.

Acari  (400,000 slides, 70,000 alcohol lots). The museum holds one of the largest collections of Acari (mites and ticks) in the country. The collection contains a general representation of essentially all families with the exception of the Oribatida and water mites. The collection of Astigmata built by OConnor and including the collection of feather mites donated by the late W.T. Atyeo, has the broadest taxonomic scope of any North American collection. The majority of specimens represent symbiotic acarines associated with vertebrates, arthropods and some other animal and fungal groups. Virtually all specimens have correlated host or habitat information.

Types. The collection contains over 1,100 primary types, with the majority being in the Orthoptera, Odonata, Diptera and Coleoptera. Many of our type specimens are available for loans to qualified researchers, but due to their unique nature and fragility, not all type specimens can be shipped, and especially so if going out of the US. In lieu of shipping type specimens, we can photograph types and provide the images to you. In most instances, this has been satisfactory. Please contact the Collection Manager or a Curator if you need to look at type specimens. Types are loaned for no longer than six months.  The Odonata types have been documented in this 2003 UMMZ publication.


Unmounted Material, Bulk Lots.  The Insect Division has thousands of unmounted Lepidoptera, primarily from the Philippines (Ledyard, pre-1920), West Africa (1930s), and from the Southeast USA and Neotropics (Marston Bates).  Thousands of unmounted specimens from the E.S. George Reserve taken in the early 1950s from light traps could be a project for someone.  J. Speed Rogers also left behind hundreds of boxes of unmounted Tipulidae from North America.  

The wet collection contains about 2500 vials and jars of bulk Malaise samples, pit-fall trap samples, pan-trap samples, and Berlese-extraction residues. Nearly 2000 of the samples are from the Pasoh Forest reserve in Malaysia.