Images of the FSCA

1911 SW 34th Street
Gainesville, FL 32608-1268
(352) 372 - 3505
Head Curator: Dr. Michael C. Thomas

The mission of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods is to continue to build and maintain the best possible worldwide collection of terrestrial and aquatic arthropods for research, education, and support of the regulatory functions of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; to serve as a repository for type, voucher and research specimens; to conduct arthropod biodiversity surveys especially of the tropics and subtropics, of which Florida is part due to its unique geography and climate; to do so with the aim of furthering the science of arthropod systematics, and to document, understand, and protect Florida’s natural fauna and flora and its agricultural economy.


In 1983, the major state supported insect collections in Gainesville, Florida: the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) (then known as the Florida State Museum), the collections of the University of Florida, and the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (FSCA), were consolidated into The Center for Arthropod Systematics, and the FSCA designated as the central repository for terrestrial and non-marine arthropods for the State of Florida. The bulk of the FSCA holdings have been incorporated into the Museum of Entomology (FSCA) which is supported by the Division of Plant Industry (DPI) of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and housed in the Doyle Conner Building located at the southwest corner of the University of Florida campus. Other holdings of the FSCA are maintained by the Entomology Department of Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, specializing in aquatic insects, and by researchers at the University of Florida. In addition, the FSCA has been designated by the Societas Internationalis Odonatologica as the host for the International Odonata Research Institute (IORI) and associated collections which are maintained as part of the Museum of Entomology (FSCA) in Gainesville.

The collections of the Museum are world wide in scope. Earlier accumulations, primarily from Florida and the southeastern United States, still form a large portion of the collection; however, most groups have world wide representation, with particular non-North American strengths for circum-Caribbean and South American species, followed by European species. In recent years much new material has been been obtained, through surveys or exchanges, from the Neotropics, parts of Africa (especially South Africa) and Asia (especially Indonesia and Taiwan). Some groups are particularly well represented on a worldwide basis: e.g., Arachnida (Pseudoscorpionida), plant-associated Acari (especially Phytoseiidae), Araneae (Salticidae), Diptera (Asilidae, Leptogastridae, Syrphidae, Tabanidae, and Tephritidae), Coleoptera (aquatic beetles, Cerambycidae, Cucujidae sens. lat., Endomychidae, Meloidae, and Scarabaeidae), Ephemeroptera, Hymenoptera (Vespidae), Lepidoptera (Sphingidae, butterflies and day-flying moths), Mallophaga, Neuroptera (Myrmeleontidae), and Odonata.

Among the 22,400 drawers, 352,221+ slides, and 294,200+ vials of the Museum of Entomology, are an estimated 9 million prepared specimens including 3,500 primary and at least 15,000 secondary types. Millions more specimens are in 33,000 bulk alcohol containers and various dry samples. These, together with the other holdings, place the FSCA among the top 10 North American entomological collections. In addition, the FSCA includes extensive holdings in literature pertaining to arthropod taxonomy, including the books and journals of the FSCA library. The library is affiliated with the Florida State University Library System and loans are available through the interlibrary loan system. In addition, the Museum of Entomology has extensive reprint files that include the private libraries of G. B. Fairchild, W. W. Wirth, H. V. Weems, Jr., G. C. Steyskal and others.

Publications sponsored by the FSCA include the "Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas" series, the "Occasional Papers of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods", and the "Entomology Circular Series" published in conjunction with the Entomology Section of the Division of Plant Industry. The Entomology Circulars are also included in the bi-monthly Tri-ology series also published by DPI. The FSCA is the charter institution and host for the Center for Systematic Entomology (CSE), and its journal "Insecta Mundi". The CSE provides yearly grants to taxonomic researchers to help support arthropod research at the Museum.

The Museum is also the repository for arthropod and host plant data derived from on-going surveys by the Florida Department of Agriculture and other submissions.

The Museum of Entomology (FSCA) is open to researchers from all over the world, and tours by local school classes and individuals are available. Please feel free to contact us and request information on receiving a tour. Specimens can be loaned to established researchers. Please see the loan section for details.

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