Uniqueness of the Collection
The Collection is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections (more than 3.5 million specimens) in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region. Much of the material has been identified by specialists to the specific or generic level, making it very valuable in terms of quality of material. Examples are:
1. Aphid collection. The monographic works (Aphididae of Colorado and Aphids of the Rocky Mountain Region) by Gillette and Palmer are the basis of one of the largest aphid collections in the world.
2. The Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Soil Arthropod Collection. The 9,000+ slide collection is derived from three primary sources:
- 1) The International Biological Program\’s Pawnee Site Soil Arthropod Reference Collection
- 2) National Research Ecology Laboratory Soil Arthropod Research Collection
- 3) The Konza Prairie Research Natural Area LTER Reference Collections and collections from the Jornada LTER.
These collections were assembled by Faculty Affiliate, Dr. Dave E. Walter, University of Queensland, Australia; a well-known acarologist. He has described numerous species of Mesostigmata and other mites from the above collections. Additionally, paratypes and voucher specimens for studies detailing the feeding habits of more than 100 species of predatory, mycophagous, and omnivorous soil arthropods are included in the collection.
3. Auchenorrhyncha and Sernorrhycncha Collection. The 60 Cornell drawers contain one of the more comprehensive collections in the Western United States. Revisions and species descriptions by C. P. Gillette, C. F. Baker, and M. W. Nielson have resulted in excellent holdings of North American species of Cicadoidae. B.C. Kondratieff has in preparation a publication on the cicadas of Colorado. The majority of North American species of cicadas are represented.
4. Diptera Collection. This section includes 216 Cornell drawers and is very comprehensive in regard to coverage of most North American families. During revisions or species descriptions and faunal surveys of this sections have been greatly enriched by adding secondary types of voucher material: Ceratopogonidae (M. T. James), Syrphidae (E. A. Back), Asilidae (E. A. Back), Mydidae (S. Fitzgerald, B. Kondratieff, and J. L. Welch), Pyrgotidae (B.C. Kondratieff and S. Fitzgerald), Tephritidae (B. F. Quisenberry) and Chlorophidae and Cuterebridae (C. W. Sabrosky). The Mosquito Collection is one of the largest in the Rocky Mountains, and served as a basis for Harmston and Lawson\’s Mosquitoes of Colorado (1976, U.S. Dept. Health, Education,Welfare. CDC-Atlanta, Georgia). Scientists from the Center for Disease Control in Fort Collins have also added important representatives and voucher specimens of species from Guadalcanal, Philippines, and China.
5. The Hymenoptera Collection. This collection consisting of 288 Cornell drawers is among the most comprehensive, especially in the Rocky Mountain Region. Through the efforts of H. E. Evans, representation of the Vespoidea, Scoliodidea, Sphecidae and Pompilidae have national importance, representing the majority of North American species. Evans and his students have added many rare species through their study of taxonomy and behavior of the above groups. There are many voucher specimens, especially in Nyssoninae and Philanthinae (Sphecidae), accumulated by the research of Evans and his students. This includes a complete collection of beewolves (Philanthus), the basis of Evans and O\’Neill\’s book, The Natural History and Behavior of North American Beewolves (1988, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York).
6. Orthoptera Collection. This collection has comprehensive coverage of the Great Plains species including large series of economically important taxa. There are many voucher specimens and paratypes by L. Bruner, J. L. Capinera, M. Hebard, A. P. Morse and J. A. Rehn. The basis for J. L. Capinera and T. S. Sechrist\’s Grasshopper (Acrididae) of Colorado was from the Collection.
7. The Coleoptera Collection includes 385 Cornell drawers of beetles significant North American species of Cinindelidae, which was the basis of M. Kippenhan\’s Tiger Beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae) of Colorado, 1994. Tans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 120: 1-86. Elateridae, Scarabaeidae, Tenebrionidae, Cerambycidae (60% of all North American species and basis for the Checklist of Cerambycidae of Colorado by D. Heffern), Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae, especially the Scolytiral.
8. The Lepidoptera Collection, under the curatorial egis of Dr. Paul A. Opler, includes 1010 Cornell drawers and an excellent regional representation of Ditrysia, especially Sphingoidea, and Noctuoidea (the family Noctuidae alone includes 325 Cornell drawers). More than 80% of all North American species of butterflies are represented. Many of the specimens have been identified by experts such as R. Brown, D. R. Davis, D.C. Ferguson, R. W. Hodges, J. McDunnough, R. W. Poole, J. A. Powell, and P. A. Opler. Many specimens served as voucher material for Opler\’s books such as Peterson\’s Field Guide to the Butterflies of Eastern North American and Western North America and Distributional atlases of Western North American Moths and Eastern Butterflies.
9. The aquatic insects (Ephemeroptera, 60% of North American species, many reared adults and associated with larva; Plectoptera (90% of all North American species; and Trichoptera, 60% of all North American species) are one of the fastest growing sections of the Collection. A comprehensive coverage of Western and many eastern species is now available: this part of the collection served and will serve as the basis for numerous manuscripts and books (J. V. Ward, B.C. Kondratieff and R. E. Zuellig, 2002). An illustrated Guide to the Mountain Stream Insects of Colorado, University of Colorado Press. The mayfly material served as a basis for one of the most comprehensive species inventories reported from any state (W. P. McCafferty, R. S. Durfee and B.C. Kondratieff. 1993. Colorado Mayflies (Ephemeroptera): an Annotated Inventory, Southwest. Nat. 38: 252-274). Additionally, many rare Neotropical species are included, especially from Mexico.
10. Other taxa that are well represented include Hemiptera and other Homoptera, including a comprehensive holding of North American Cicadoidea (80% of all species).
11. The Collection served as a repository for many of the insect species collected from the Central Plains Experiment Range, Pawnee National Grassland, and IBP program funded by NSF (Kumar, R., R. J. Lavigne, J. E. Lloyd, and R.E.Pfadt. 1976). Insects of the Central Plains Experiment Range, Pawnee National Grassland. Agric. Exper. Sta. Univ. Wyoming. Science Monogr. 32
12. Thirty primary and over 2,500 secondary types, representing 9 order and 50 families (Odonata, Plecoptera, Orthoptera, Homoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera) are deposited in the Collection.
13. Approximately 90% or more of all North American species are represented in the following groups: Odonata, Plectoptera, Orthoptera(s. s), many Hemiptera families, many Homoptera, many Neuropteran families, many coleopteran families, Mecoptera, many dipteran families, many trichopteran families, many lepidopteran families and many hymenopteran families.
14. The repository for comprehensive arthropod inventories of Canyonlands National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve,, Mesa Verde National Park, Rocky Mountain and Zion National Park. These studies have resulted in three fully illustrated outreach publications which are for sale at each park: A Guide to the Common Insects and Other Arthropods of Colorado National Monument, Insects and other Arthropods of Great Sand Dunes National Monument and Kingdom of the Small, Common Insects and Other Arthropods of Dinosaur National Monument. Approximately 7,500 species of arthropods were deposited into the Collection.