California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration
150th Anniversary Celebration 150 Years: A Timeline 150 Years of Research The New Academy
Curator Wojciech Pulawski and Collections Manager Norman Penny in the Entomology collections.
DEPARTMENT MILESTONES

1854
A single California mole cricket and a few insects from Texas form the humble beginning of a collection that will, in 150 years, rank among the world’s top ten.

1862
The Department is established and Hans Hermann Behr appointed Curator.

1906
Fire destroys 50,000 specimens, but type specimens of over 260 insect species were rescued.

1975
Growing collections move into efficient compactor storage occupying the entire second floor of the new Wattis Hall.

1991
A complete inventory and upgrade of the collection result in one of the best curated entomological collections in the world.

1998
Expeditions to Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar involved Academy researchers and Malagasy students in an intensive survey of rainforest insects and spiders.

2000
Researchers pursue their investigations worldwide, from Papua New Guinea to Costa Rica, particularly in Madagascar, continental Africa, and Yunnan, China.

Anthropology | Aquatic Biology | Botany | Entomology | Herpetology | Ichthyology | IZG | Library | Ornithology & Mammalogy | Steinhart Aquarium | Morrison Planetarium | Education | Exhibits | Operations | Academy Store

Entomology | The Study of Insects

For the Love of Bugs
The Entomology collections consist of more than 9.5 million processed and about 4.5 million unprocessed specimens of insect and arachnids. Reflecting research interests, beetles, lacewings, web-spinners, flies, ants, bees, wasps and spiders are particularly well represented.

Lifelong Safari
Curator Ed Ross is the world authority on embiid insects! He travels throughout the world to collect these web-spinners, while “netting” many other insects and arachnids for the Academy’s collection. A photographer of nature and people, his superb photographs have often appeared in National Geographic.
Spider Man!
Charles Griswold studies evolutionary relationships among spiders in Africa’s mountain rainforests (“moist islands in a sea of dry lowlands”). He finds that spiders in these “island” habitats, though widely separated in geography, are closely related to each other. They differ dramatically, however, from spiders of the surrounding lowlands even though they are close neighbors.

Scorpions Fluoresce in Ultraviolet Light
Stan Williams and Vincent Lee use UV light for efficient nighttime collecting — a technique that has resulted in more than 21,600 vials and jars of scorpions for research studies.

 

150th Anniversary Celebration | 150 Years: A Timeline | 150 Years of Research | The New Academy

©2003 California Academy of Sciences

 

California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration