|The Entomology Collection at the Museum contains around 200,000 specimens, including both insects and arachnids. The collections focus primarily on the Santa Barbara region, including significant holdings from the California Channel Islands. Apart from the Islands material the collection is strong in beetles (Coleoptera), butterflies (Lepidoptera), and parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera).
The dry collection is housed in modern metal cabinets, in Cornell-style drawers, and is mostly sorted to the family level. The collection holds 3 primary types, described as a result of California beetle surveys, housed separately from the remainder of the collection.
Representation is very strong from the Transverse Ranges, including the mountains of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. Desert areas to the east are also well represented, as is the southern Sierra Nevada.
Recent collection growth has resulted primarily from regional surveys conducted through the California Beetle Project. These are described more thoroughly through the projectÕs webpages, which also includes a searchable specimen-level database. As for the general collection, it has grown significantly through the incorporation of bulk trapping residues from which beetles have been extracted. This includes samples from Malaise, Lindgren, pitfall, and flight interception trapping, as well as extensive litter sifting, and they are full of other interesting arthropods awaiting further study.
The wet collection also includes a good representation of regional spiders and other arachnids, as well as a growing collection of beetle larvae.
We have recently established a frozen specimen collection. The material being stored in this collection is available for molecular systematic studies. For the most part this collection is focusing on beetles peculiar to California, but donations of other material will be considered.
An Excel spreadsheet detailing the entomology freezer inventory (as of March, 2009) can be downloaded here: Entomology Freezer Inventory
Taxonomists interested in borrowing material should contact Dr. Caterino. Loans are available according to standard conditions.
Michael Caterino, Ph.D., Curator of Entomology, ext. 151