Entomology

The Entomology collection holds over 900,000 labeled specimens, 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.

Projects and News

Read what our scientists are working on. More.

Collections

The specimens in our Entomology collection document the past and inform the future. More.

Staff

We search and we research. We are keepers of the ecological record. Meet the team. More.

Resources

Understand this place we call home. More.

Checklists and Related Information

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.

Checklists include:
Checklist of Butterflies of San Diego County
Checklist of the Spiders of San Diego County
Checklist of the Spiders of Baja California

The Story of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index

Join a young girl on her journey of discovery as she learns how to use the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. Thanks to the research of Justin O. Schmidt, who subjected himself to hundreds of stings from 78 different species of insects, we know the relative pain of their stings and how to colorfully describe the effects. For more information on the insects of southern California and beyond, visit sdnat.org/science/entomology

Use Policy and Contact Information

Contact the Curator of Entomology, Dr. Michael Wall, at 619.255.0266 for inquiries concerning access to the collection.