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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.


The San Diego Natural History Museum’s Entomology Department is part of a multi-institutional effort to create more than 1.2 million 2D and 3D images of over 5,000 global bee speciesincluding all the major pollinating species in the United States. Learn more.

Dune Biodiversity of the Baja California Peninsula

Some of the longest stretches of undisturbed coast in North America are at risk of environmental degradation. Museum entomologists and scientists from Mexico are generating the first entomological inventory of the coastal dunes of the Peninsula of Baja California to provide data that will allow decision makers in Mexico to conserve and manage this precious resource. Learn more.

LepNet Digitization Project

Our Entomology Department is working on a multi-year project to digitize 150,000 specimens of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) from Southern California and Baja California, a known biodiversity hotspot. The important data associated with these specimens in our collection can be used to help inform important conservation activities. Learn more.

Checklist of Butterflies of San Diego County

Some of the species in this list are rare or are limited in their distribution. Those that are rare and are likely to be seen in limited capacity are marked with an asterisk(*). Species indigenous to San Diego County are bolded.Species with state or federal protection are bolded orange. Learn more.

Checklist of the Spiders of San Diego County

The following revised checklist, as probably with most regional checklists, is preliminary and hopefully will be useful for environmental management and planning as well as a starting point for further biological studies of the regional fauna. Citations refer to papers with descriptions, locality information, or nomenclatural notes. Learn more.

Checklist of the Spiders of Baja California

The following checklist is preliminary and hopefully will be useful for environmental management and planning as well as a starting point for further biological studies of the regional spider fauna. Citations refer to papers with locality information, descriptions, or nomenclatural notes. Learn more.


With over one million described species of insects and their relatives, it is impossible for one person to know them all. We use this blog to get our latest discoveries and poorly understood collections in front of the eyes of the internet! Create a login and you can use our image comment tool to add identification directly to images or add comments below each image. Learn more.

What We’re Up To

How can thousands of dead bugs save the lives of millions more? Join Entomologist Eva Horna-Lowell in the field as she takes part in California’s answer to the insect apocalypse. Read more.

Healthy urban canyons and parks can improve the quality of life for people, plants, and wild animals. The Healthy Canyons Initiative aims to better understand the health of these vital San Diego spaces.  Read more.

"Coastal resiliency" has become a global priority for government agencies and conservation groups alike. But what is coastal resiliency, and why is it important in our corner of the world?  Read more.

Three Ways to See Wildlife After Dark

Posted: September 29, 2022

Spotting animals in the wild is hard, but researchers from The Nat have a few easy tricks up their sleeves. Here are three things you can do to spot wildlife when it's most active—at night.   Read more.

Our first cohort of STEM apprentices reflect on their time with The Nat’s research department, sharing how they got here, what they learned, and where they’re going next.  Read more.