University of Minnesota Insect Collection (MIN-UMSP)

The University of Minnesota Insect Collection’s mission is to explore, describe, and preserve representative specimens of Earth’s remarkable diversity of insects and to make these specimens available to the global community for research and education. Contributions to the collection began in 1879 with specimens of insects and spiders from the North Shore of Lake Superior. During the last 135 years, the collection’s holdings have grown from a regional collection of 3,000 specimens to a major national and international resource of more than 3.8 million specimens. The collection is one of the largest university-affiliated insect collections in North America. Enhancing the collection’s status are 6 resident systematists, computerized inventory management and specimen databases, the large and historically important affiliated University of Minnesota Natural Resources Library, and a molecular systematics laboratory. Invertnet, a collaborative effort among major Midwestern universities coordinated by the University of Illinois and funded by the National Science Foundation, is currently underway to digitize the collection’s specimen holdings. Research projects associated with the collection have broad taxonomic and geographic scope. Faculty and graduate student research focuses on both aquatic and terrestrial insect groups and includes taxonomic, phylogenetic, and applied questions. The collection is the mainstay of graduate training is systematic entomology at the University of Minnesota.
Contact: Robin Elizabeth Thomson (
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Live Data managed directly within data portal
Global Unique Identifier: ad7e4ae3-ab29-41f0-a66a-2f0e4756b2c1
Live Data Download: Login for access
Digital Metadata: EML File
Rights Holder: Regents of the University of Minnesota
Collection Statistics
  • 18,333 specimen records
  • 17,431 (95%) georeferenced
  • 18,124 (99%) identified to species
  • 13 families
  • 415 genera
  • 1,149 species
  • 1,249 total taxa (including subsp. and var.)
Extra Statistics
This project made possible by National Science Foundation Award EF 1207371