Special Collections

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The collections in the Bohart Museum began as the contents of two Schmitt boxes in 1946. From there they developed into teaching and research collections for the Department of Entomology at the University of California Farm in Davis. In 1966 the decision was made to maintain a type collection, which now contains more than 1700 primary types. By 1969 the collection consisted of 100,000 specimens. In 1983 the Entomology Research Collection was officially named after Professor Richard M. Bohart. By 1995 the collection holdings had grown to 6 million curated specimens from around the world. The museum moved into a new facility funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of California, Davis.

The museum now houses nearly 8 million specimens and is growing at the rate of about 35,000 specimens each year. Several of our collections are among the largest holdings in the world, particularly the scale insect collection, mosquitoes and Apoidea. Overall the collection contains a wide diversity of terrestrial invertebrates in addition to insects including the phyla Annelida (annelid worms), Mollusca (land snails, slugs), Onychophora (velvet worms), Nematomorpha (horsehair worms), Platyhelminthes (flatworms) and Tardigrada (water bears). Our tardigrade collection is also one of the world’s largest.

Over the past several decades we have received a number of collections grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation. The first grant went to improving the scale insect collection in 1999 and a second grant went to renovating and integrating existing and donated mosquito collections. The third grant was used to recurate our alcohol-preserved collection. The later grants involved databasing the insects from California, bee species, and North American butterflies and moths.

Our databasing is still in progress, currently we have the scale insect collection, fluid-preserved collection, and part of the bee collection available to view.

Visiting as a researcher
If you need to visit the collection for  research we recommend  that you  contact us at least 2 days in advance so that we can be best prepared to assist you.  Please contact the museum at

Loaning material
If you need to borrow specimens for research, please contact the museum at

Online Databases

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 Our databased Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera can be viewed through the Link coming soon. Just click on one of the links in the yellow box to view records based on either family or geographic area.

CalBug has many records of our odonates online. Just select "Bohart Museum of Entomology" as the institution when searching their database. An alternative portal is available through the Essig Museum site.

iDigBio has many of our records online, as well. Just click on  either of the two record sets (the strings of characters) to view our entries. Note: iDigBio accumulates records from other databases that have our material, such as LepNet, so there may be information that overlaps with other online databases.

Finally, several parts of the collection can be searched Link coming soon through To search a specific collection (scales, types, etc.) simply select it in the dropdown menu on the right side of that page.


Catalog of holdings, down to order (.docx)

Download File


Mosquito holdings (.xlsx)

Download File