The Riverside campus houses the second oldest of the UC insect collections. The first specimens were transferred from the California State Insectary at Sacramento when Harry Smith joined the Faculty in 1923. Other sizable personal collections were added by P.H. Timberlake in 1924 and L.D. Anderson in 1948, and the G.P. McKenzie collection of North American Coleoptera was purchased in 1965. The division of entomology museum was formalized by E.I. Schlinger in 1962. S.I. Frommer and J.C. Hall joined the effort in 1964. Frommer developed the collection in what was then the Division of Economic Entomology while Hall curated the collections in what was then the Division of Biological Control. For many years the UCR Entomological Museum went under the descriptive yet unofficial name that Frommer had coined for it -- The UCR Entomological Teaching and Research Collection.
On March 30, 1994 a new building for UCR's large collection of insects and related arthropods was dedicated and given an official name -- the Entomology Research Museum. The lower of two floors in the building houses the collection and provides offices, space for curating and research for its Director, Dr. Serguei V. Triapitsyn, its senior museum scientist, Dr. Doug Yanega, and visiting scientists as well as students. There is a preparations room, a small library/lab room, and a large room for teaching, special seminars, and other events sponsored by the Department of Entomology.
Among the many strengths of UCR's collection are its holdings of native bees and parasitic Hymenoptera, as well as the families Asilidae, Bombyliidae, and Sciomyzidae (Diptera), Coccinellidae, Staphylinidae, and Meloidae (Coleoptera), Aphididae and Miridae (Hemiptera), and the order Thysanoptera. Of particular interest is its large collection of immature insects (the work of the late L.D. Anderson), and an enormous voucher collection from a 10-year faunistic survey of the Boyd Deep Canyon Research Center, a substantial portion of which is now databased. Our holdings, of roughly 4 million specimens (placing it among the 20 largest insect collections in North America), include primarily terrestrial insects from Southern California and Arizona, with strong representations of Mexican insects (primarily Baja California and Sonora), and various other parts of the world including Thailand, Brazil, Honduras, Russia, India, and Australia.
ERM Purpose and Mission Statement
UCR's Entomology Research Museum functions much like any large library; just as no single library has all of the world's books, no insect collection can hold all of the world's insects, and each collection is a part of an international network that cooperates to make specimens available for research. Museum curators, like librarians, are principally responsible for storing and retrieving materials (in this case, mostly insects) of interest to researchers. Curation entails preparation, pinning, slide mounting, or alcohol storage, labeling, identifying, cataloguing, and storing specimens in a systematic manner which permits retrieval at a later date. Because insects and other arthropods often change form as they grow, the different life stages (e.g. egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult butterfly) are often curated differently. Thus, the Entomology Research Museum maintains collections of dried pinned specimens, slide-mounted specimens, and specimens preserved in alcohol and other fluids. Finally, it is important to note that whereas Entomology is the study of insects, the Entomology Research Museum also maintains a small collection of arthropods such as spiders, centipedes, and scorpions, to name but a few.
A closer look at what it is that we do:
Students being taught techniques for specimen preparation.
Syntype slides of Aphytis melinus DeBach before and after remounting.
Special sub-collections within the collection.
The Entomology Research Museum maintains several special collections in addition to the general collection:
Some particular strengths of the collection.
The museum has developed particularly strong holdings in the following taxa:
all of the above by accepting, gathering, curating, and storing
arthropod specimens from all over the world in a pest-free environment.
We gather and disseminate data based upon specimen label data, as well
as the field and laboratory experience of our staff and others
associated with the collection, and through our contacts worldwide.
Prepared by Saul I. Frommer,
Senior Museum Scientist (retired), and Gregrory R. Ballmer, Staff
Research Associate, 30 May 1997
* Click here to see pictures of the compactor installation process.
* Click here to see pictures of the museum specimen preparation workshop.
©2013 ERM-UC Riverside
Last updated: 04/30/06
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