Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Insect Collection (VPI-VTEC)

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Insect Collection is the oldest and largest entomological collection in Virginia. Founded in 1888 by W.B. Alwood at the university’s first experimental station with just a few insects collected from his apple orchards, the collection now composes more than 500,000 specimens. The collection contains many entomological treasures like American Burying Beetles collected from Blacksburg in 1889 (now extinct from the state), colorful Malaysian butterflies, a herbarium of plant pests, and an extensive slide collection of 50,000 soil mites. In addition to pinned dried specimens, the VTEC holds an alcohol collection of aquatic insects and Appalachian millipedes.
Contact: Paul Marek (
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Live Data managed directly within data portal
Global Unique Identifier: cbb0e637-c014-4f09-99a1-37d1bbfdfb70
Live Data Download: Login for access
Digital Metadata: EML File
Rights Holder: Virginia Tech, Department of Entomology
Collection Statistics
  • 8,136 specimen records
  • 7,779 (96%) georeferenced
  • 2,335 (29%) with images
  • 6,834 (84%) identified to species
  • 48 families
  • 203 genera
  • 606 species
  • 685 total taxa (including subsp. and var.)
Extra Statistics
This project made possible by National Science Foundation Award EF 1207371