Our Collections | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

The Collections of the Natural History Museum


With over 800,000 described species – more than half of all known living organisms – insects are the most diverse group of animals on Earth. The Natural History Museum’s entomology collection has more than 5.8 million specimens of insects and spiders. It is the largest in Southern California and has specimens from all over the world. The collection’s strength lies in its holdings of specimens of ants, phorid flies, scarab beetles, and moths from North and Central America. Museum scientists conduct world-class research on systematics, studying species and their relationships, the evolution of major groups, and fossil insects in amber. They conduct field work on insect biodiversity at home and in tropical countries. Entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County goes back as far as 1913, when the Museum first opened.

TAXONOMY DATABASE The Entomology taxonomy database is a list of the taxa in the collection. This list is constantly being added to and updated. It is not a database of our catalog of individual specimens.

CATALOG DATABASE Only a small fraction of the specimens in the LACM Entomology collection are databased with individual specimen numbers. However all types are in the database, and can be searched by selecting holotype in the Type column.

View the Entomology Collections