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Biological Sciences

Entomology Collection

About the Collection

The Chico State Entomology Collection has a growing arthropod collection with over 25,000 specimens, including a rich variety of Northern California insects. The collection also contains specimens from around the world with a special interest in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). The collection includes type specimens, insects collected from regions they no longer inhabit, and rare and endangered species.

The collection was initially created by biology professor emeritus David Kistner in 1959. Over the years the collection has grown primarily by student participation, and donations. In 2002, Dr. Don Miller became head curator for the collection and has made many personal additions from his travels.

The Chico State Entomology Collection is primarily used for student learning and research. Specimens are loaned to classes to demonstrate everything from sexual dimorphism to animal behavior. Internships are available for both undergraduate and graduate students to learn arthropod identification, curation, techniques, and public outreach. The collection is open for tours and demonstrations by appointment. The collection specimens are also available for loan to researchers upon request.

blue and black butterfly

Papilio ulysses ambiguus collected from Papua New Guinea.


usa pennyspiny orbweaver beetle

Graduate student, Irene Lona, is researching the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, a vector of a fungus, Geosmithia morbida that causes thousand cankers disease in walnut trees
A Spiny Orbweaver, genus Gasteracantha, was collected from Papua New Guinea by Dr. Don Miller A Spiny Orbweaver, genus Gasteracantha, was collected from Papua New Guinea by Dr. Don Miller.


bee looking insects

Bombus sonorus, of the Sonoran desert, is found from California to Texas, where it is on the Species of Greatest Conservation Need list.