Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
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Cornell University Insect Collection

Comstock Hall, Cornell University
Established 1870
Location Department of Entomology, Comstock Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
Type Academic Institution

The Hymenoptera are one of the largest and strongest parts of the collection. Some of the past and present members of the department involved with Hymenoptera collections are J.C. Bradley, V.S.L. Pate, C.R. Crosby, A.D. MacGillivray, C.F.W. Muesebeck, H.K. Townes, H.E. Evans, W.L. Brown, Jr., G.C. Eickwort, R.A. Morse, W.W. Middlekauff, K.V. Krombein, and others. Hymenoptera represent about 17% of total drawers in the collection, and include 1350 drawers (12.5% of total). The collection has over 2000 species represented by types. The families with greatest strength are Tenthredinidae (39 drawers), Braconidae (36 dr.), Ichneumonidae (106 dr.), Cynipidae (37 dr.), Mutillidae (31 dr.), Scoliidae (80 dr.), Vespidae (92 dr.), Pompilidae (87 dr.), Sphecidae (114 dr.) and all families of bees (see below).

The CUIC is the repository for 2686 primary type specimens, and holds primary or secondary types representing 7397 species. Primary types are housed in a secure type room. We also have an alcohol collection of over 50,000 vials that are stored in a double-jar system with archival gaskets.

We have been constantly growing in size, with an average drawer count increasing by 6.9% per year. Such growth was focused on our move to new facilties in 1985, with an increase in our cabinets and drawers funded by the National Science Foundation. In addition, we have received generous donations from Cornell alumni; e.g. Lepidoptera from J.G. Franclemont, and Membracidae from Tom Wood. With additional space, we are better able to curate our unidentified specimens, and to organize specimens for consultation by entomologists.