United States National Museum, Entomology Collections (USNM-USNMENT)

The USNM Entomology Collection is one of the largest insect collections in the World. The collection contains over 300,000 species representing approximately 60% of known insect families. With approximately 35 million specimens, including 100,000 holotypes and hundreds of additional paratypes and other secondary types, in more than 232,000 drawers in 5200 cabinets, 33,000 jars or vials, and 50,000 slides from locations worldwide, the collection is strongest in coverage for Nearctic and Neotropical regions. Specimens from the Old World are also well represented, especially Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. Particular strengths include mosquitoes, wasps, beetles, butterflies and moths and flies. The collection of Coleoptera at USNM is one of the world’s largest, consisting of more than 10 million specimens, including over 20,000 primary types. The nucleus of the National Collection was formed in 1881 with the transfer of the general collection of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the National Museum of Natural History. Notable collection acquisitions and donations have significantly enhanced the National Coleoptera Collection. The majority of the collection is housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, other groups are held at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland. The Department of Entomology includes research scientists and museum specialists from the Smithsonian Institution, U.S.D.A. Systematic Entomology Lab and Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit of the Department of Defense.
Contact: M. Lourdes Chamorro (Lourdes.Chamorro@ars.usda.gov)
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Live Data managed directly within data portal
Global Unique Identifier: 043bee8b-d64c-4136-a7c1-f79af60d4a13
Live Data Download: Login for access
Digital Metadata: EML File
Collection Statistics
  • 2,651 specimen records
  • 2,533 (96%) georeferenced
  • 118 (4%) with images
  • 2,628 (99%) identified to species
  • 5 families
  • 32 genera
  • 133 species
  • 134 total taxa (including subsp. and var.)
Extra Statistics
This project made possible by National Science Foundation Award EF 1207371