News & Blog

ASUHIC detailed description of holdings

Posted by nfranz on February 14, 2016 - 9:27am in Collections

The Hasbrouck Insect Collection is named in honor of Dr. Frank F. Hasbrouck, an expert on the "burrowing webworm moth" family Acrolophidae (Lepidotera) who was recruited to Arizona State University in 1962. Hasbrouck presided over the collection for nearly 25 years. Under his energetic and meticulous curatorship, the collection grew from approximately 50,000 specimens - which had been accumulated gradually since the 1910s and mainly in service of teaching endeavors - to about 650,000 specimens. Other major ASUHIC contributors during Hasbrouck's time and beyond include colleagues Mont Cazier and Gordon Castle, and students such as Martin Kolner, William Warner, and Ronald Wielgus. We are stewards of their wonderful legacy.

The collection experienced only limited activity between 1990-2010. To some extent the new collection team is still catching up with our past. When in doubt about our holdings, please contact our collection manager Sangmi Lee. The descriptions below reflect our current understanding of the Hasbrouck Insect Collection's holdings, but the nature of this knowledge is dynamic and subject to revisions and updates.

We estimate the current ASUHIC holdings to total nearly 2,800 drawers and 750,000 specimens representing at least 25 orders, 390 families, 3,500 genera, 12,000 species and 1,240 subspecies of hexapods. Most specimens are from the southwestern United States; however considerable representative material is also available from other North American regions and Mexico. Beetles (Coleoptera) and moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) are particularly well represented reflecting the research concentrations of past and present collection personnel. The overwhelming majority of specimens are pinned – Dr. Hasbrouck was not interested in maintaining a wet collection – and approximately 80-90% are authoritatively identified to the level of species. New growth includes acquisitions of New World weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) through the Charles W. O’Brien Collection and ongoing research activities, as well as micro-moths (Lepidoptera) with a more regional concentration.

While we are actively databasing the holdings at a rate of more than 50,000 specimens per year, we do not yet have available a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of the ASUHIC species- and specimen-level holdings. The most recent species-level collection inventory was carried out in the early 1990s by Drs. Cazier and Douglas. The scanned ledger is available here as a searchable PDF (~ 16 MB). Users should be aware that the taxonomic classification and names used in this resource are often outdated.