Category Archives: Uncategorized

A checklist of bee species in the Virginia Tech Insect Collection

Sweat bee, Augochlora pura mosieri Cockerell, 1922 (family Halictidae) By Katie Williamson, Derek Hennen, and Paul Marek What’s one of the first things that comes to your mind when describing a bee? A fuzzy, flying insect? Pollination? Or even how … Continue reading

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Curiosities from the cabinets: Lycid beetle mimicry ring

Lycid beetle mimicry ring (A. Lucidota, Lampyridae; B. Limonia, Limoniidae; C. Chaetodactyla, Ptilodactylidae; D. Mesopteron, Lycidae; E. Austrolimnophila, Limoniidae; F. Calopteron, Lycidae; G. Correbidia, Erebidae; H. Calopteron, Lycidae; I. Correbia, Erebidae; J. Lycomorpha, Erebidae; K. Correbidia, Erebidae). Scale bar: 5 … Continue reading

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Bressler longhorned beetle collection

The longhorned beetle, Typocerus zebra (Olivier, 1795) In May, Dr. Ellen Brown of Fredericksburg, Virginia donated the collection of her husband Dr. Barry Lee Bressler (1936 – 2017) to the Virginia Tech Insect Collection. Dr. Bressler, who was born in … Continue reading

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Rusty patched bumble bee

Bombus affinis Cresson, 1863, the Rusty patched bumble bee (#VTEC000000590) On Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Rusty patched bumble bee as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The specimen pictured above is one of 31 individuals … Continue reading

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Zygaena angelicae

A zygaenid moth, Zygaena angelicae Ochsenheimer, 1808 Specimen #VTEC000000632 is a handsome zygaenid moth from Mnichovice (Czech Republic) collected by V. Kubelka. Thanks to  volunteer Charity Hall for digitizing several trays of zygaenid and arctiine moths!

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Professor Smyth’s Butterflies

Papered insects of Ellison Smyth, founding head of VT Biological Sciences Did you know that the first football coach of Virginia Tech, Professor Ellison Smyth, was also a butterfly collector? In fact, Professor Smyth was also one of the first … Continue reading

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Milkweed pollinia

Back in April I posted an image of a Sphex sp. wasp with some odd structures on its legs. At the time I suspected the weird things were fungal growths. After some additional research (i.e., I found a photo of a bee … Continue reading

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New Insect Cabinets!

Our new insect cabinets are here! We now have museum-quality, archival cabinets specially engineered for the protective storage of our pinned specimens. The double-door cabinets are over 7’ tall and hold 48 Cornell drawers. They are made from heavy gauge steel … Continue reading

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Things I’ve Found While Transferring Specimens

We’ve been transferring our pinned insect specimens into new unit trays for several weeks now, an activity best described as time-consuming. When finished, we’ll have replaced our current mix of old, hard-bottomed and various types of soft-bottomed unit trays in … Continue reading

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A Weird Beetle and a Lesson on Proper Labels

I’ve been sorting through some donated material over the past week and found a really cool insect to share today. When I first saw it, my reaction was “What is THAT?” There was no collection data label associated with this … Continue reading

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