University of Hawaii Insect Museum

University of Hawaii Insect Museum The University of Hawaii Insect Museum is a research collection focusing on the terrestrial arthropods of Hawaii and the pacific, including both native and introduced species.
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Our strengths lie in native fruit flies and Lepidoptera. The University of Hawaii Insect Museum is a research facility that is part of the Department of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH- Manoa. UHIM is also a member of the UH Museum consortium.

Mission: The mission of the UHIM is to improve land management in the state of Hawaii by documenting and preserving a record of native and introduced terrestrial arthropods. We serve the broader community by preserving, archiving, and expanding the collection to make a thorough representation of the Hawaiian and Pacific Island insect biodiversity. We are a scientific research unit that emphasizes insect systematics, evolution and conservation. Finally, we are a resource for education about the function and importance of natural history collections.

Operating as usual

Libraries of Life
02/27/2015
Libraries of Life

Libraries of Life

Specimen libraries are vital for biology. So why are museums being forced to cut their funding?

Come to our second annual Darwin Day open house this afternoon!
02/12/2015

Come to our second annual Darwin Day open house this afternoon!

Happy 206th birthday to Charles Darwin, the man Nature magazine calls "arguably the most influential scientist of modern times.”

Celebrate his legacy at the University of Hawaii Insect Museum, open to the public today (2/12) on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.

#DarwinDay #science #STEM #insects

Here's a story about a recent study on Lepidoptera phylogeny, with quotes from the UH insect museum director Dr. Rubinof...
08/02/2014
Some Moths are Actually Butterflies According to DNA Sequencing Study

Here's a story about a recent study on Lepidoptera phylogeny, with quotes from the UH insect museum director Dr. Rubinoff.

By tracing nearly 3,000 genes to the earliest common ancestor of butterflies and moths, University of Florida scientists have created an extensive "Tree of Lepidoptera" in the first study to use la...

We are pleased to announce the use of "crowdsourcing" tools to help modernize our collection. You can join the "virtual ...
07/29/2014
Volunteer Portal - Pulelehua of Hawai'i: Butterflies and Skippers

We are pleased to announce the use of "crowdsourcing" tools to help modernize our collection. You can join the "virtual expedition" at the Biodiversity Volunteer Portal. Your participation will help us greatly and will contribute to sharing our specimen data with scientists around the world as well as the general public. Mahalo!

Atlas of Living Australia

We had an insect sorting party recently and CTAHR photographers were there to capture some nice photos
07/02/2014
Insect Sorting Event

We had an insect sorting party recently and CTAHR photographers were there to capture some nice photos

The 5th annual UH Insect Museum sorting event drew more than a dozen people June 27. Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences faculty and CTAHR students were joined by grad students in biology and even a coupe second-generation sorters, who helped place specimens in the correct order … and family…

Pulelehua Project
05/17/2014

Pulelehua Project

I spent some time surveying for Kamehameha butterflies on East Maui this week. It was WET, but I did see some caterpillars. I found one caterpillar on each of three different kinds of host plant: olona (Touchardia latifolia), opuhe (Urera glabra) and a big fat beautiful one on mamaki (Pipturus sp.)!

UHIM's Dr. Ryan Caesar was recently in Makawao, Maui for an outreach presentation at the public library that was feature...
05/06/2014

UHIM's Dr. Ryan Caesar was recently in Makawao, Maui for an outreach presentation at the public library that was featured on the front page of The Maui News. This was part of a month-long series of outreach presentations throughout the state for National Library Week.

This story is quite relevant for museums and scientists working with specimens. We generate lots of digital images and o...
04/11/2014
The New Age: Leaving Behind Everything, Or Nothing At All

This story is quite relevant for museums and scientists working with specimens. We generate lots of digital images and other electronic data associated with our collection and research. How do we preserve it, and what do we need to preserve?

Older generations might have left behind physical letters, photographs and journals.

03/26/2014

It's spring break on campus, but our staff are busy learning about new technology related to digitizing biodiversity data at the Pacific Biological Collections Digitization workshop here in Honolulu, hosted by iDigBio and the Bishop Museum.

Do you know you can help directly support the UHIM in the form of a gift through the UH Foundation? Such a gift will go ...
03/20/2014
Make a Gift | UH Foundation

Do you know you can help directly support the UHIM in the form of a gift through the UH Foundation? Such a gift will go to help offset the costs of maintaining the collection, and will support the documentation and preservation of Hawaii's natural heritage. Mahalo!

The University of Hawai'i Foundation is dedicated to raising private gifts in support of the University's ten campuses and the students and programs they serve.

This story from NPR describes the kind of digitization project currently underway at the UHIM
03/12/2014
Evolved Science: Crowds Can Catalog Bugs Faster

This story from NPR describes the kind of digitization project currently underway at the UHIM

Thousands of non-scientists sitting at their home computers may now be as useful as a single Einstein — thanks to online crowdsourcing. What once took years, now takes days.

03/05/2014
What Bugs Hawaii - Dr. Daniel Rubinoff

Our museum director and professor of entomology Dr. Dan Rubinoff appeared recently on Likeable Science, an offshoot of ThinkTech Hawai‘i on ‘Olelo Community Media. Watch on you tube to learn more about "what bugs Hawai'i"

"What Bugs Hawaii!" with Dr. Daniel Rubinoff, Professor, Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences-Entomology program, University of Hawai'i-Manoa...

An important role for a university museum is to provide a permanent depository for specimens used in research, so that o...
03/02/2014
Proper vouchering | Frost Curators' Blog

An important role for a university museum is to provide a permanent depository for specimens used in research, so that other scientists can examine the specimens later if necessary. This is part of what makes science repeatable. Students and professors should coordinate deposition of voucher specimens from their research with collection managers.

A nicely pinned and labeled ground beetle, Carabus auratus, collected during an agricultural ecology project on a farm in PA. Its label is descriptive, includes latitude and longitude and other important data, and the species was determined confidently to species. A great voucher specimen! Photo by…

Today a student brought in an interesting specimen- a gynandromorphic carpenter bee (Xylocopa sonorina)! Gynandromorphs ...
02/28/2014

Today a student brought in an interesting specimen- a gynandromorphic carpenter bee (Xylocopa sonorina)! Gynandromorphs are half male and half female, a result of an error in cell division immediately following fertilization. Because Hymenoptera have haplo-diploid sex determination, this individual has both haploid and diploid cells.

New species can be discovered by students in the middle of heavily populated cities in the midwest, right on the campus ...
02/22/2014
New Species of Bizarre, Worm-like Mite Discovered on Ohio State University Campus

New species can be discovered by students in the middle of heavily populated cities in the midwest, right on the campus of a large university. Just think how many undiscovered terrestrial arthropods remain in Hawaii!

By Samuel Bolton I recently had the good fortune of discovering a new species of mite that looks bizarre enough to be no less suitable for science fiction than science reality. Luckier still, colle...

We are celebrating Charles Darwin's 205th birthday today, along with his many contributions to entomology. Stop by from ...
02/12/2014

We are celebrating Charles Darwin's 205th birthday today, along with his many contributions to entomology. Stop by from 2-6 PM today if you are nearby!

"What makes this discovery even more special is that each described specimen is linked to the AntWeb database by a uniqu...
01/29/2014
Unique specimen identifiers link 10 new species of ant directly to AntWeb

"What makes this discovery even more special is that each described specimen is linked to the AntWeb database by a unique identifier. Publishing this way makes it easier to harvest the data by other on-line resources and repositories."

Here at the UHIM we are adding unique IDs to all of our specimens as part of a digitization project like many other research museums.

Scientists describe ten new species of the ant genus Temnothorax, doubling the number of known species of this group in California. What makes this discovery even more special is that each specimen record is linked to the AntWeb database by a unique identifier. This makes it easier to harvest the da...

A species of non-native scarab beetle that is large, beautiful, and destructive has been found on Oahu. This is a potent...
01/09/2014
DESTRUCTIVE BEETLES FOUND ON OAHU COCONUT TREES | Department of Agriculture

A species of non-native scarab beetle that is large, beautiful, and destructive has been found on Oahu. This is a potentially serious threat to coconut trees in Hawaii.

HONOLULU — Another new invasive pest has been detected on Oahu, one that damages coconut trees and other palm plants. The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) was detected at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Dec. 23, 2013 during routine surveys conducted under a cooperative agreement between the Univer...

A UH college course on environmental history visits the UHIM to learn about how museums can help record and understand n...
11/21/2013

A UH college course on environmental history visits the UHIM to learn about how museums can help record and understand natural history and environmental change.

Students from Waipahu middle school visit the UHIM to learn about the kinds of things you can do in college.
11/21/2013

Students from Waipahu middle school visit the UHIM to learn about the kinds of things you can do in college.

10/30/2013
Beetles -- pinning down the secrets of life: Max Barclay at TEDxAlbertopolis

Max Barklay, an entomologist at the Natural History Museum in London, gives a TED talk about beetle diversity and the importance of insect collections.

One in every five living organisms is a beetle and Max Barclay has dedicated his life to cataloguing and understanding these incredible success stories of ev...

Visiting Scientists
10/12/2013

Visiting Scientists

"I am quite convinced that Insects offer better or clearer illustrations of the problems you occupy yourself with than a...
10/02/2013
Darwin Correspondence Project » letter: 3104

"I am quite convinced that Insects offer better or clearer illustrations of the problems you occupy yourself with than any other class of animals or plants. It is so easy with them to obtain great series of examples & have them before you in a small compass, which is one advantage they have."
- H.W. Bates, in letter to C.R. Darwin (1861)
http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-3104

Letter 3104Bates, H. W. to Darwin, C. R. 28 Mar 1861 Summary Add+ Discusses specific varieties, especially geographic varieties. +Comments on the effects of the glacial age on the tropics.+Sexual selection.Transcription King St Leicester28 March 1861My Dear SirI received your kind letter today & thi...

We have new drawers! Thanks BioQuip Products Inc. for quickly processing and shipping our order.
10/02/2013

We have new drawers! Thanks BioQuip Products Inc. for quickly processing and shipping our order.

A specimen of the native noctuid moth Aumakua omaomao, photographed as part of our efforts to digitize all specimens in ...
09/21/2013

A specimen of the native noctuid moth Aumakua omaomao, photographed as part of our efforts to digitize all specimens in the collection.

Address

3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI
96822

General information

UHIM is primarily a research collection, so our facility does not have any public exhibits or displays. However, education and outreach are part of our mission. We can accommodate visits from local school classes and community organizations by appointment, although we must limit the size of such group visits. Call for more information.

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Comments

We believe we found an Elephant Hawk Moth in Ewa, can anyone verify or help identify? It just formed a chrysalis yesterday. Looking up Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar it looks exactly like it, but I've never seen that type of moth in Hawaii. It burrows itself in dirt and started doing what almost looked like a web before it formed its chrysalis but I couldn't get a picture of that where you could see it clearly.