Coleoptera Course

Two rows of images of different beetles on a white background. Five on top pictured from above. Four below pictured from the side. Courtesy of Steven Lingafelter
Beetle Morphology, Classification and Identification in Southeastern Arizona 

Beetles (order Coleoptera) are the largest order of insects with more than 400,000 described species in over 150 families worldwide. They can be encountered in almost all habitats in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The diversity of beetles in southeasern Arizona is among the highest in North America. The Southwestern Research Station (Portal, Arizona) with its modern research facilities and comfortable lodging is an ideal location from which to study this group of animals.

This will be the second course offered in partnership with the Southwestern Research Station on the entire order Coleoptera. Students will learn the diversity, morphology, classification, and identification of beetles. Students will receive training in the lab and in the field. At least 70 families of beetles are likely to be collected during the course. Lead instructor Richard Leschen will provide the foundation of taxonomic knowledge for this formidable order of insects, complemented by a team of coleopterists from around the country.

  • Richard Leschen, Lecturer
  • Steven Lingafelter, Organizer
  • Christopher Carlton, Instructor
  • Brittany Owens, Instructor
  • Andrew Johnston, Instructor
  • Evan Waite, Instructor
  • Margarethe Brummermann, Instructor

This course will be limited to 15 students with a strong desire to greatly enhance their knowledge of beetles.


Meets in 2025


  • Tuition amount to be announced. Fee covers tuition, shared dormitory housing, and meals. After acceptance a $100 deposit is required to reserve your place in the course. The balance payment must be made upon arrival at SWRS. 
  • Cancellation Policy: With at least 45 days advance notice from the start date, deposits will be refunded, less a $20 cancellation fee. No deposits will be refunded with less than 45 days notice.
  • Payment can be made with a personal check, certified check, or money order, made payable to SWRS.
    • Credit card payments are also possible but we ask that you keep in mind that the Station is a non-profit organization and fees for credit card charges continue to increase.
    • If you reside outside the United States: please submit your payment in the form of a certified check, money order, or bank transfer in U.S. Dollars or email [email protected] to obtain details for a bank transfer to SWRS. 


Costs for travel to SWRS are to be borne by all participants. As participants register, we can facilitate participants contacting each other to carpool to and from the station.


Please email [email protected] to request an application.