The Entomology collection holds approximately 980,000 pinned and labeled insects and 20,000 insects preserved in 70% ethanol. The specimens are primarily of insects and arachnids, with small holdings of various other terrestrial invertebrate specimens. The collection is especially strong in Coleoptera (Beetles) and Lepidoptera (Butterflies/Moths), with smaller but important holdings of Diptera (Flies) and Neuroptera (Lacewings). Material is representative of San Diego County and Southern California, with additional specimens from the southwestern United States.
Of additional interest are the collections from northwestern Mexico, primarily Baja California, that have been added over much of the past 60 years. A smaller specialized collection containing insects of forensic importance is also available. Read more about the collection.
The department is under the care of Dr. Michael Wall, Curator of Entomology, with assistance from departmental associates. Dr. Wall joined the Museum’s staff January 20, 2006. Listen to Dr. Michael Wall on KPBS These Days with Maureen Cavanaugh. April 8, 2010
The Entomology Department is supported in part by the John A. Comstock Entomology Fund, and donations from The Sahan Daywi Foundation.
If you want to learn more about the insects and arachnids of our region, see our Reference section for species checklists, essays, books recommended by our staff, and other resources on our own site.
Contact the Curator of Entomology, Dr. Michael Wall, at 619.255.0266 for inquiries concerning access to the collection.