C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity

The C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity houses more than three and a half million specimens and has excellent representation of most orders of insects especially with a strong in the coverage of Rocky Mountain species, but also southwestern species. The collection houses holdings of national importance in the aquatic insect orders, the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), the Diptera (flies, gnats and mosquitos), and the Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps and relatives. The Collection houses 83 primary types and more than 2,000 secondary types (Baker, Evans, Gillette, James, Fisher, Kondratieff, Opler, Palmer and others). The associated Bruner Family Library contains important systematic literature. Research, undergraduate and graduate training, and outreach activities are prominent among museum-related activities.


Dr. Clarence P. Gillette, an entomologist of international reputation, established an insect collection in the late 1800s to assist the College of Agricultural Sciences in fulfilling its missions in teaching, research, and extension. Throughout its history, the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity (CSUC) has been available for research and scholarship with minimal restrictions to students, faculty, visiting scientists (including international researchers), the general public, and other interested people. Gillette expanded and curated the CSUC from 1891 to about 1930. Since that time, the internationally recognized entomologists, George List, T. O. Thatcher, Howard E. Evans, Paul A. Opler, Don Bright, and Don Givens have continued enhancing and expanding the collection. B. C. Kondratieff has served as director of the CSUC since 1986. Currently, the CSUC includes more than three and a half million specimens and is considered the fourteenth largest institutional insect collections in the United States. The Collection belongs to the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University. The Department (Dr. Amy Charkowski, Head) is administered through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Colorado.

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The CSUC includes more than three and a half million specimens, with extensive coverage of the southern Rocky Mountain Region, in addition to excellent representation of many North American taxa (Table 1). Approximately 5% of the CSUC includes material collected from outside North America, primarily from Mexico and selected Central and South American countries. Presently, it is considered to be the fourteenth largest insect collection affiliated with a U.S.A. university in the U.S. Much of the material has been identified by specialists to the genus or species level, making it very valuable in terms of quality of material.

Currently housed in the CSUC is an extensive taxonomic research library of essential books and publications (The Bruner Family Library). The library includes approximately 1,200 books and 12,000 bulletins, reprints and other literature items that deal with arthropod systematics. Primary literature and catalogs are available for most groups of North American insects with special holdings of world aphid literature. The CSUC produces a scientific publication series: “Contributions of the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity.” Titles are available on the CSU Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management website. Most titles are available online as open access by the CSU digital library of the Morgan Library.

      In the summer of 2018 the CSUC will move into new space in the Hartshorn building on the campus of CSU.  The new space is approximately 6,000 square feet.

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