Entomology (Col.)

The Entomology department houses the largest and most scientifically valued collection of its kind in the country, soon to be augmented with nearly 2,000,000 specimens of different orders.

Although the collection is particularly strong in materials of specimens native to the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands, there are several specimens of the European fauna and of the fauna of former Spanish colonies (North Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Philippines, South America…), and a good representation of specimens from Madagascar, Asia Minor and some Oriental regions.

The bulk of the collection comprises materials that have been collected and studied by noted Spanish scientists and naturalists from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century - Graells, Pérez Arcas, Martínez y Saez, Seebold, both Bolívar, Martínez de la Escalera, García Mercet, Bonet, Cabrera, Lauffer, Dusmet, among others - and several foreign professional scientists of the same period. The collection has recently grown through major and significant contributions from other researchers; today, thanks to ongoing acquisitions and collection campaigns funded by research projects, our holdings are annually growing at a 2-10% rate.

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The collection is rich in reference materials and houses a large number of type specimens. Up to this day, there are over 5,300 catalogued taxa represented by 17,100 types. Each year, between 35 and 50 visiting researchers make extensive use of the collection; we approve between 80 to 100 loans for study - which include an average of 10,000 specimens -, and we solve up to 70 to 80 queries about different aspects of Entomology and insects research.