Welcome to the University of Alaska Museum Insect Collection. The collection was established as part of a NSF - funded Arctic Archival Observatory grant in late 2000.

The UAM Insect collection is the northern-most facility of its kind in the United States. It has the potential to become a world-class depository for dry, alcohol, and preserved-tissue samples of northern arthropods (and other terrestrial invertebrates), primarily from Alaska.


Although a young collection (begun in 2000), we have recently surpassed 250,000 online records representing over 1.5 million specimens (as of August 2016). Over 99% of these records have been georeferenced. Over 75% of the pinned collection has been databased; approximately 10% of the wet collection has been databased. At least one specimen of every lowest identification, in both the pinned and wet collections, has been databased so we have a complete online taxon inventory of the collection. 153,526 specimens have been identified to the species level - these represent 3,254 species (23% are apparent new records for the state). Coleoptera, Araneae, Odonata, and Hymenoptera are the most well-curated groups. Lepidoptera and Hemiptera are being sorted currently (2011). Diptera is our largest group and currently in the greatest need of attention. Steve Peek, a research associate of the collection, has been working on fly identifications to help with this enormous curatorial challenge.


If you have a few hours a week and would like to volunteer in the Entomology Department please contact the Curator, Derek Sikes.


If you are thinking of starting a project that will produce insect specimens which you would like to donate, please contact the Curator to discuss details such as which pins to use if you are pinning specimens (stainless #3 are highly recommended) and how to record latitude / longitude for your labels. See the section devoted to donations.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to support student and other entomological research in Alaska, you can do so at this website:

Important - In the gift designation box, put “Kenelm W. Philip Entomology Fund.”


Specimen Data

Search the Insect Collection Database, ARCTOS, or DNA Barcoded specimens
go straight to specimens records with images
or records of potential Alaska endemics.

Derek S. Sikes
Curator of Insects
University of Alaska Museum
907 474 6278
dssikes 'at'

Bonanza Creek LTER field trip 2008 - from left: John Acorn, Ken Philip, Carolene Coon, Laura Lund, Tamara Sayre
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