The British insect collections are a comprehensive reference resource for all major insect groups. They contain much contemporary material and are rich in biological data which supports and underpins contemporary wildlife conservation and biodiversity research. Areas particularly worthy of note are:
Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) British species are well represented, with ca. 50,000 specimens of British micro-Lepidoptera and ca. 120,000 British macro-Lepidoptera.
Hymenoptera: Aculeata (bees, wasps and ants) The British aculeate collection consists of ca. 30,000 specimens, representing 83% of the British fauna. It is rich in modern material and notable collections include those of M. Edwards, G. Dicker and C. Clee. Symphyta (sawflies) are currently a major growth area within the collections. At present, there are ca. 15,000 specimens and the coverage of British species is just under 70%. Much of the collection results from contemporary work in North-west England and Wales.
Hemiptera (true bugs and hoppers) Extensive (96%) coverage of British frog and leaf hoppers and (93%) British heteropteran bugs, including immature stages. Notable collections are those of W.J. LeQuesne and S. Judd.
Trichoptera (caddis flies) (ca. 40,000 specimens) including extensive collections of immature stages (I.D. Wallace collection) are internationally important and underpin recent taxonomic, distributional and conservation research.
Foreign collections of particular note, in addition to those mentioned under historic collections, include:
Museum staff and associates regularly undertake biodiversity field surveys in partnership with various national and regional conservation organisations. This research informs species conservation and general site management. In the last fifteen years over 50, technical reports and publications have been commissioned and over 100,000 specimens have been identified. Specimens resulting from and validating this research are housed in the museum's spirit-preserved and dry invertebrate collections.
Please find attached further information on the World Museum Entomology facilities and the work of the Tanyptera Trust Project, which is based in the Entomology Section.Historic collections
The historic F. Chevrier (1801 - 1885) (ca. 11,000 specimens) collection of European beetles is of international importance.
Other notable historic collections include: