Collection Overview

Entomology had a central role on the UMass campus from its founding as the Massachusetts Agricultural College, and collections-based systematic research at UMass has an illustrious history. Charles Alexander described over 11,000 species of crane flies (still comprising over 1% of all known species of living things). Alexander's crane flies have been transferred to the Smithsonian, but the UMass insect collection still comprises over 100,000 specimens. Over 50,000 of these are indentified to species, but there is no computerized catalog.

Curator: Dr. Ben Normark

Research Interests

  • Systematics and evolution of armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)

  • Phylogeny and evolution of maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria in insects

  • Evolution of haplodiploidy

  • Evolution of sex

  • Genetic conflict

More information about Dr. Normark's research.