The Hymenoptera, with more than 115,000 described species, include as much as 10% of the described species diversity of the planet. Economically and ecologically, Hymenoptera are one of the most important groups of taxa.
The Hymenoptera form the single largest component of the holdings of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, by virtue of the single largest acquisition ever received: the Alfred C. Kinsey collection of Cynipidae, donated in 1958 by his wife, totaling some seven and a half million specimens. That collection consists of about 5.5 million gall formers, 1.25 million inquilines (which develop inside the galls of other cynipids instead of making galls by themselves), and 0.25 million galls. Other notable segments of the non-Apoidea Hymenoptera collections include the Manfredo Fritz aculeate collection from southern South America, with nearly 100,000 specimens, primarily of Aculeata, and one of the best in the world. The Massimo Olmi collection of Dryinidae, with more than 100 holotypes, is the most complete in the world. Finally, the Vespidae are the most complete in the New World, and the wasp nest collection, with more than 1000 specimens, is the world's largest. The collections are worldwide in scope and include representatives of most families of Hymenoptera. Although the North American fauna is most strongly represented, the collections contain substantial holdings from South America, Africa, and the Palearctic, as well as other areas. The holdings include over 3000 primary types.
Curator-in-Charge: Dr. James Carpenter
Collection Assistant: Christine LeBeau