Our Collections


The Wisconsin Insect Research Collection (WIRC) is home to over 3,000,000 pinned insect specimens. (At least we think so. If you would like to know if this is accurate, you are welcome to visit us and confirm this total!) The collection also houses more than 5,000,000 additional uncurated specimens in bulk—primarily in ethyl alcohol. Although most of our material is from Wisconsin and the upper Great Lakes Region, we have specimens that were collected throughout North America and the rest of the world.

Please contact WIRC staff or submit an information request to find out more about specimens or taxa in our collection.

We no longer maintain static insect family pages or species lists on the WIRC website. Although these pages had some utility on our old website, the majority of those pages contained errors and/or were out-of-date and did not accurately reflect our actual holdings. Instead, our goal is to continue to digitize our specimen data and make it freely available to all. Learn more about our ongoing digitization efforts.

Current research strengths of the WIRC include Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Hemiptera. This diversity reflects the ongoing research of curatorial and support staff as well as taxonomic graduate training and several key collection donations.