Insect collections

Field-collected beetles drying, ready to be labelled and added to the insect collection.

The Queensland Museum Entomology Collection:

  • covers all taxonomic groups of insects and all habitats throughout Queensland and adjacent regions.
  • 3.6 million items including more than 30000 type specimens.
  • Approximately 220,000 specimens are registered which represents over 6% of the collection.
  • contains internationally recognised collections of Australian parasitic wasps (Microhymenoptera); dung beetles (Scarabaeidae); ground beetles (Carabidae); ants (Formicidae); flat bugs' (Aradidae); bees (Apoidea) and mosquitoes (Culicidae).
  • is primarily from Queensland, with comparative material from adjacent Indo-Pacific regions, such as New Caledonia.
  • encourages use of material for studies in systematics, taxonomy, comparative morphology etc., and loans are readily made available to specialists and supervised students in Australia and overseas.
  • comprehensive collections from all major tracts of rainforest in Queensland.
  • comprises both wet (stored in 70-95% alcohol) and dry (pinned) collections.
  • is steadily growing as our inventory of the region’s insects becomes more comprehensive.

University of Queensland Insect Collection (UQIC) now part of the QM Insect Collection

  • a research collection begun in the 1920's by F.A. Perkins, the first lecturer in entomology at the University of Queensland.
  • amalgamated with the Queensland Museum collection in 2011.
  • best represented are Coleoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera.
  • the collection of Australian bees is possibly the largest in Australia as a result of more than 30 years of collecting by E.M. Exley and her students.

The Queensland Museum Entomology collection contains many important donated private collections including:

  •  E.J. Dumigan - moth and butterfly collection
  • William H. Miskin - mainly butterfly collection including many types
  • Rowland Illidge beetle collection
  • the Cedric Deane beetle collection
  • Martin J. “Joe” Manski collection of lacewings
  • part of Charles King's collection of hepialid moths
  • Dodd Family, the beautiful and historically invaluable collection
  • A.J. Turner - types, mainly moths
  • Louis M. Roth collection of cockroaches
  • Henry Rauber - butterfly collection
  • A.A. Girault– approximately 4000 types of microhymenoptera and thrips
  • E.N. “Pat” Marks - 35,000 mosquitoes, including 34 holotypes, seven cabinets of other slides (including dissections and larval skins), as well as her notebooks recording details of her collecting trips
  • Franzen Family collection of butterflies and moths
  • Oscar W. Tiegs beetle collection
  • Murdoch De Baar - butterfly collection
  • Reeves and Bryan - dragonfly and damselfly collection
  • Stephen Johnson - butterfly collection (Housed at Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville - MTQ)
  • Edward J.W. “Ted” Harris moth collection (Housed at MTQ)

Access for researchers:

The collection at South Brisbane is not open to the public, but is available to bona fide researchers and students. Material is available for loan to institutional-based researchers. Types are only loaned under exceptional circumstances.

Prospective visitors and researchers should make contact with curators or the collection manager via

For Identification requests, click here to send us a question and our experts will answer it!

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