Time for introductions

Happy New Year! After a much needed holiday break we are back to work in the collection.

There’s already so much going on! But before we start talking about what we do, how we do it, and who does what, I want to briefly introduce you to the collection.  This is a fascinating place, with rich history, very valuable holdings, and very talented staff. Stick with us!

We are 80 years old and used to be called simply the Ohio State Insect Collection, or OSUC for short.  In 2005 the collection was renamed in honor of Dr. Charles A. Triplehorn, who retired in 1992 and was in charge of the collection for more than 30 years.  We are one of the largest university insect collections in North America, holding more than four million specimens. Yes, +4 million!

(At this point some of you are probably thinking “Why so many specimens?”  It’s a fair question and we’ll address that in another post. For now let’s continue our introductions.)

The Triplehorn Insect Collection is a significant resource for the scientific community.  Our specimens and the information associated with them, are used by scientists in various areas of research, from agriculture to ecology to forestry to medicine to conservation to species descriptions, and much more.  We provide access to specimens and specimen data for scientific studies through loans, research visits, and through our free online database.

Rothschildia cincta

Specimens of moth Rothschildia cincta (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)

We are also a very important educational resource: we offer internships to undergraduate students interested in entomology, biology; we give tours and extended visits by University classes, public and private schools, and home school groups.  We also welcome tours and visits by the general public, local groups, organizations, science clubs, and families with an interest in biodiversity and entomology. Tours and visits are on appointment basis only.

I hope this piqued your interest. Please come back to visit our blog. We will be posting at least once every two weeks, or more often if we can.  For now, keep warm and enjoy this image of moth Rothschildia cincta (Saturniidae), part of the collection’s holdings.

About the Author: Luciana Musetti is an Entomologist and Curator of the Triplehorn Insect Collection.