If you want to learn more about the insects and arachnids of our region, see our Reference section for species checklists, essays, books recommended by our staff, and other resources on our own site.
Some of the longest stretches of undisturbed coast in North America are at risk of environmental degradation. Museum entomologists and scientists from Mexico are generating the first entomological inventory of the coastal dunes of the Peninsula of Baja California to provide data that will allow decision makers in Mexico to conserve and manage this precious resource. Learn more.
Our Entomology Department is working on a multi-year project to digitize 150,000 specimens of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) from Southern California and Baja California, a known biodiversity hotspot. The important data associated with these specimens in our collection can be used to help inform important conservation activities. Learn more.
Some of the species in this list are rare or are limited in their distribution. Those that are rare and are likely to be seen in limited capacity are marked with an asterisk(*). Species indigenous to San Diego County are bolded.Species with state or federal protection are bolded orange. Learn more.
The following revised checklist, as probably with most regional checklists, is preliminary and hopefully will be useful for environmental management and planning as well as a starting point for further biological studies of the regional fauna. Citations refer to papers with descriptions, locality information, or nomenclatural notes. Learn more.
The following checklist is preliminary and hopefully will be useful for environmental management and planning as well as a starting point for further biological studies of the regional spider fauna. Citations refer to papers with locality information, descriptions, or nomenclatural notes. Learn more.
With over one million described species of insects and their relatives, it is impossible for one person to know them all. We use this blog to get our latest discoveries and poorly understood collections in front of the eyes of the internet! Create a login and you can use our image comment tool to add identification directly to images or add comments below each image. Learn more.
In the spirit of the decade-spanning top ten lists that abound in our collective news feeds, we asked our curators to nominate two to three of the best specimens that were collected or discovered in the 2010s. We got 17 nominations, and musuem staff and volunteers voted to narrow the list down to “The Top 10 Specimens of the 2010s.” Read more.
Professionally trained researchers can’t be everywhere at all times. Citizen science projects, including one focused on the invasive shot hole borer beetle, provide opportunities for regular people to contribute to science. Read more.
Camp Pendleton retains an incredible amount of biodiversity, including insects and spiders that are critical to ecosystem health. Museum scientists are partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps to study and document them, with the goal of creating a baseline inventory of what lives where. Read more.
Who doesn’t love dune bugs? Our entomologists are studying insects in the dunes of Baja California to gather data that will help inform conservation decisions around these incredibly unique—but potentially threated—ecosystems. Read more.
Researchers at the San Diego Natural History Museum, along with experts from Mexico and Brazil, have described a new species of large cave-dwelling spider, the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider (Califorctenus cacachilensis). Related to the notoriously venomous Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera), the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider was first discovered on a collaborative research expedition into a small mountain range outside of La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Read more.