The Entomology collection is particularly rich in Scottish material. One of our key objectives is ensuring the collection continues to be a centre for research and information about Scottish insects.

Other objectives are maintaining and enhancing resources for identifying insects and acting as a depository for vouchers, ie preserving representative specimens from research projects to enable future workers to verify what species were involved.

Insects in the Entomology collection

Above: A drawer from the Waterhouse collection.

Mobilising collection data is also a significant activity. The data associated with individual specimens is of great environmental value and we work with a wide range of people and organisations to extract and use these data, particularly in projects for biodiversity and environmental conservation.

With the aim of inspiring and motivating work on insects, we also provide experience and training in entomology and collection related subjects through a range of educational schemes and opportunities.

Swallowtail butterflies

Above: Swallowtail butterflies.

In summary, the roles of the National Museums Scotland insect collection are a varied mix of the traditional and the new. The necessity to keep track of them all and respond accordingly remains a pressing challenge. 

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