The Lepidoptera collections have grown from several prominent lepidopterists associated with the collection and from a considerable number of private donations. The W.T.M. Forbes and J.G. Franclemont personal collections form the backbone of the holdings. Their many students have also been particularly important to the growth and development of the Lepidoptera collection. There are over 6400 drawers of Lepidoptera (39% of drawer count for entire collection), 2471 vials of adult structures and larvae, and over 14,500 microscope slide mounts of wings, genitalia, and other structures. We have over 390 primary types, and about 1575 species represented by types. Families especially well represented in the collection include Pyralidae (200 drawers), Geometridae (638 dr.), Mimallonidae (10 dr.), Saturniidae (211 dr.), Noctuidae (2254 dr.), Nymphalidae (900 dr.), Papilionidae (312 dr.), and Pieridae (210 dr.). The Franclemont Geometroidea were integrated with the Forbes collection by Dr. James Reilly. This amalgamation increased our geometrid holdings four-fold. Geographic regions well represented include tropical South America, eastern North America, the American southwest including west Texas and southeastern Arizona, and Puerto Rico. Dr. James Hayden recently databased our holdings of Pyraloidea. To the right there is also a link to an older database of the entire Lepidoptera holdings compiled by Dr. Chris Marshall in 2005. This file does not include the updates in Geometroidea or Pyraloides supported by Drs. Reilly and Hayden, but it provides an overview of our holdings that may prove useful. Please inquire of the curator, Dr. James Liebherr, if you wish to learn about our holdings of any particular taxon.
The genitalia slide collection of Prof. John G. Franclemont comprises 8800 Canada balsam mounts that were prepared over the course of his career. The first slide was dated 7 December 1935, and the last slide was prepared 26 October 1994. The early slides are archivally labeled, however the later slides have only a wax pencil legend including slide number, taxon name, and date of preparation. The associated PDF lists all the taxa alphabetically. If you would like to borrow any of this material, please contact us through the email page, and we will make certain the slides are fully labeled. We can also photograph a moderate number of slides, should that prove a means to keep the slides safe from mail travel. Our plan is to ultimately have this invaluable overview of noctuoid genitalic preparations available on this website.
Prof. Franclemont also reared the larval stages of many lepidopterans from eggs derived from captive females. These alcohol-preserved larvae are associated with their mothers preserved in the Franclemont pinned material. Mr. Jeffry Petracca, Cornell B.S. Entomology 2011, stabilized the Franclemont larval collection, and has compiled the list of taxa also to the right. We have also digitized 1033 images of caterpillars from Kodachrome slides taken by Prof. Franclemont during his rearings of eggs laid by single females. These images are available in a searchable collection here. Thus for some species, we have individual series with preserved larvae, photographed larvae, genitalic dissections of both males and females, and spread adults. We hold numerous other larval Lepidoptera derived from W.T.M. Forbes. Contact the collection manager, Dr. Jason Dombroskie, for information on possible holdings of a taxon of interest.