NC State University Insect Museum


Search our specimens here: NCSU Insect Museum specimen database

Our museum houses an estimated 1,500,000 total specimens, excluding bulk material that has yet to be prepared. Below you'll find brief summaries of our holdings, alphabetical by order. Many of our specimens have been databased and can be browsed through our NCSU Insect Museum specimen database portal. Our drawers can be browsed through our GigaPan profile. For more specific information about the insects of our state please visit the North Carolina Insects page.


Many vials and 1 slide box.


92,700+ specimens (mostly North American). This resource includes: 10,138+ carabids, 7,372+ cerambycids, 13,618+ chrysomelids, 3,892+ coccinellids, 10,018+ curculionids, 2,231+ dytiscids, 15,940+ elaterids, 17,786+ scarabs, and 6,003+ staphylinids. Several large donations over the past several years has greatly improved our holdings of Coleoptera. J.F. Cornell's beetle collection (on indefinite loan to NCSU) is being donated over a period of years (20,000+ specimens have already been integrated into the Collection). Tom Daggy's collection likewise increased significantly our representation of beetles. The NCSU Libraries hold F.F. Tippmann's priceless collection of literature on beetles. [types]


131 slide boxes (11,246 slides) and 2,270 vials, representing one of the best collembola collections in the eastern United States. This includes the David Wray Collection of Collembola.

Dermaptera (Dermaptera drawers)

3 drawers and many vials.


9 drawers of "Blattaria", >120 vials of Isoptera, and 5 drawers of Mantodea. [types]


1 slide box and several vials.


84,000+ specimens in >180 drawers, including 15,500+ culicids and 20,777+ tabanids (contributed mostly by K.L. Knight and R.C. Axtell, respectively) as well as many North Carolina syrphids. One of our systematists, Brian Wiegmann, is strengthening this resource and developing a cold-preserved collection for DNA sequencing. [types]

Embiodea (Embiodea drawers)

A few older pinned specimens and several vials.


>500 vials.

Hemiptera (Hemiptera drawers)

Heteroptera: 23,500+ specimens in >100 drawers. With 9,928+ mirids, 5,187+ lygaeids, and 4,015+ pentatomids, this resource is strong in material from the eastern United States. Our collection manager, Bob Blinn, who has a strong interest in mirids and reduviids, adds hundreds of Heteroptera each year to the Museum. [types]

"Homoptera": NCSU's worldwide collection of Homoptera (380,000+ specimens) has extraordinary value because of the systematic works derived from it. For example, the Auchenorrhyncha collection, served as part of the basis for the classification Z. P. Metcalf used in his General Catalog of the Homoptera, "probably the greatest catalog of any order of insects to be found in the world" (Brett 1976). With wide coverage taxonomically and geographically, the Homoptera collection has nearly 100,000 cicadellids, and 9 other families are each represented by more than 2,000 specimens. Metcalf established the world collection of Auchenorrhyncha, and D. A. Young contributed much to its growth. Wilhelm Wagner's collection, bequeathed to NCSU in 1977, is rich in European Auchenorrhyncha. The world collection of aphids (55,000+ slides) supported the taxonomic research of C. F. Smith, A. T. Olive, H. L. Comroy, and M. M. Cermeli; it is strong in material (mostly donated by Smith; 5,049+ from Olive) from North Carolina (Smith et al. 1992) and Utah. The unique and invaluable literature files of Metcalf and Smith, on Auchenorrhyncha and Aphididae, respectively, give immediate access to existing knowledge in these groups. Together, NCSU's collections of literature and specimens form an unique resource for research and graduate training in the Homoptera. [types]

Hymenoptera (Hymenoptera drawers)

71,300+ specimens (330 drawers). Holdings of Apoidea (including Sphecidae s.l.), Braconidae (Aphidiinae), Pompilidae, and Formicidae are especially strong. T. B. Mitchell's bee collection (34,500+ specimens) is primarily North American in scope but contains megachilids from all zoogeographic regions. The collection of North American Aphidiinae (a product of C. F. Smith's research on these parasites of aphids) includes many paratypes. [types]


350 drawers and hundreds of vials. [types]

Mecoptera (Mecoptera drawers)

4 drawers and several vials, plus the A. D. Shaftesbury flea collection (5,095+ slides in 59 slide boxes). [types]

Megaloptera (Megaloptera drawers)

6 drawers and nearly 200 vials.

Neuroptera (Neuroptera drawers)

9 drawers and 140 vials.


50 drawers and >400 vials. [types]

Orthoptera (Orthoptera drawers)

12,400+ specimens (83 drawers) largely reflecting B. B. Fulton's life interest in the Orthoptera of the United States. [types]

Phasmatodea (Phasmatodea drawers)

4 drawers.

Plecoptera (Plecoptera drawers)

2 drawers and nearly 500 vials. [types]


1 slide box, with a handful of vials.

Psocodea (Psocodea drawers)

1 drawer and nearly 150 vials of bark lice; 3 boxes of slides and 35 vials of Troctomorpha.


77 vials and 16 slide boxes.

Trichoptera (Trichoptera drawers)

4 drawers and >700 vials. [types]


42 vials and 1 slide box.