The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Insect Collection is the oldest and largest entomological collection in Virginia. Founded in 1888 by W.B. Alwood at the university’s first experimental station with just a few insects collected from his apple orchards, the collection now composes more than 500,000 specimens.

The collection contains many entomological treasures like American Burying Beetles collected from Blacksburg in 1889 (now extinct from the state), colorful Malaysian butterflies, an herbarium of plant pests, and an extensive slide collection of 50,000 soil mites. In addition to pinned dried specimens, the VTEC holds a spirit (alcohol) collection of aquatic insects and Appalachian millipedes.

Loans and contact

Virginia Tech Insect Collection
Dr. Paul Marek, Curator
Department of Entomology (MC0319)
170 Drillfield Dr.
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061