Insects and Other Arthropods

 Brightfield and confocal laser scanning volume rendered micrographs showing the morphological diversity of insects

The UNH Collection of Insects and Other Arthropods (UNHC) is committed to the increase of knowledge on insects and to disseminating this knowledge to the community of the University of New Hampshire and the general public with the emphasis on communities of publicly supported primary and secondary education. This mission requires a strong foundation, built on basic research in insect biodiversity and insect systematics. Such research is tied to collections, as objects of research and as representations of the natural history of the Earth. With almost 700,000 specimens and growing, the UNHC is the largest arthropod depository and research collection in northern New England. 

History of the Collection

Our collection began in the late 1800s through the work of entomologists in Hanover, NH with the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, before it moved to our present location in Durham in 1893. It is estimated to contain about 700,000 insect specimens, largely due to the efforts of Professor Emeritus Dr Donald Chandler. Today, it is the largest state university insect collection in New England. These specimens are an indispensable resource for a better understanding of the natural history of New Hampshire, and of our world.

Regional and International Holdings

The collection has matured from being an excellent state collection (known only to those in the New England region) to being recognized nationally and internationally as one of the major faunal resources of the Northeastern region, as evidenced by the number of international loans. The emphasis on intensive collections from state unique natural and old-growth areas, and more recently stream studies, has produced the depth and coverage of regional biodiversity that is not found or even approached in any other collection in the Northeast.

Notable collections

The UNH Collection of insects and other Arthropods is particularly outstanding in insect groups intensively studied by curators and others associated with the Museum, who through their field trips or through exchanges assembled specialized collections according to their individual interests including horseflies (Tabanidae - John Burger), ant-like and ant loving beetles (Anthicidae and Pselaphinae - Don Chandler),  leafhoppers (Don Chandler), bird lice (James Keirans) and oribatid mites (Oribatida - Marcel Reeves). Link

Confocal Laser scanning micrographs of Mallophaga (chewing lice) species.

Confocal Laser scanning micrographs of Mallophaga (chewing lice) species.

 

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    Grant Milne graduated from Thiel College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in conservation biology and a Bachelor of Arts in biology before joining COLSA's biological sciences: marine biology Ph.D. program. The Portville, New York native, who once had a gray seal chew on his fin while he was SCUBA...
    Developing better ways to monitor marine habitats
    Grant Milne graduated from Thiel College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in conservation biology and a Bachelor of Arts in biology before joining COLSA's biological sciences: marine biology Ph.D. program. The Portville, New York native, who once had a gray seal chew on his fin while he was SCUBA...
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    Kelsey Meyer is a doctoral student in COLSA’s biological sciences: marine biology Ph.D. program. She currently spends a lot of time traversing Great Bay in a small boat, collecting invasive green crabs, baiting traps and monitoring tiles for oyster spat.
    Studying the impact of invasive green crabs on shellfish in Great Bay Estuary
    Kelsey Meyer is a doctoral student in COLSA’s biological sciences: marine biology Ph.D. program. She currently spends a lot of time traversing Great Bay in a small boat, collecting invasive green crabs, baiting traps and monitoring tiles for oyster spat.
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    In 2021, the UNH Sustainability Institute launched the UNH Sustainability Awards, which recognizes activities and achievements that best embody the principles and practices of sustainability.
    COLSA Well Represented Among Winners
    In 2021, the UNH Sustainability Institute launched the UNH Sustainability Awards, which recognizes activities and achievements that best embody the principles and practices of sustainability.
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    COLSA student follows her passion
    Mary Kate Munley's love of the sea has motivated her work monitoring Loggerhead sea turtles nesting along the coast of Florida and studying the state’s stone crab population.
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    Food insecurity concerns lead to change in major
    Alexandra Papadakis ’21 has long been interested in food. When she started at UNH, she thought that interest would take her in the direction of how it’s grown, harvested, marketed, consumed. Then she started thinking more about hunger.