The insect collection in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is free and open access to the research community. The collection is public and open for tours by contacting the collection staff. There are no user charges or fees for access to the collection and its associated data.

The Insect Collection at Virginia Tech has grown over the past 125 years through the generous contributions of entomologists, biologists, and naturalists in Virginia and across the planet. As the insect repository of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we accept donations of insects chiefly collected from Virginia and the eastern U.S. that were obtained legally and in accordance with collecting permits and state and federal laws. While our focus is on the insect fauna of Virginia, we will also consider donations of internationally collected. The VTEC has never paid for new material and does not purchase specimens or collections. Material on temporary loan to the Virginia Tech Insect Collection will be accessioned into the VTEC after a period of eight years if the lender does not respond to adequate written notice. For Virginia Tech student voucher requirements, see the collection website at: collection.ento.vt.edu


  • Overview: The VTEC is a major and active component of entomological research at Virginia Tech, and we support the use of our collection in the scientific enterprise of other academic institutions. Loans will be provided to entomologists and specialists, and will be for a duration of one year. Loans to students will be made through their major advisor or research supervisor. There is no charge for loans. Due to limited VTEC collection staff, researchers interested in borrowing specimens are strongly encouraged to visit the collection to examine the material instead or obtain the material in person. Specimens that are rare, fragile or preserved in our liquid collection, may potentially not be shippable. In these rare cases, the VTEC is able to supply a microscope and space in the collection to examine the material in person, or specimens may be photographed by our staff at high resolution and with a scale bar for virtual examination. Contact the curator of the collection at least three days prior to a visit, so appropriate arrangements can be made in advance and for collection staff to be available at that time.
  • Care of materials: Specimens must be returned in their original condition. Written permission is required for destructive sampling, staining, clearing or slide mounting specimens. All material associated with specimens (e.g. labels, microvials, point-mounts, etc) must remain with the individual. Determination labels—even if incorrect—must be kept with the specimen, and insect identification and other annotations must be made on a new label (written on acid-free insect label paper in archival ink). We request that changes in identification of specimens are accompanied by a determination label indicating the identifier and year made. We request that if specimens from the VTEC are digitized, georeferenced or databased, a copy of the data is sent to the curator or collections manager.
  • Deaccessions: Under certain circumstances will material conserved in the VTEC be deaccessioned (e.g. exchange of specimens and deposition of holotypes in other natural history collections) . Exchanges of material or loan recipients wishing to retain specimens will be considered on a case-by-case basis and permission is solely granted through writing by the curator. The VTEC does not intend to keep holotype specimens. If material from the VTEC is designated a holotype, then these specimens must first be returned to our collection in Blacksburg and then we will ship to a mutually approved repository. Other type material (e.g. paratypes) are welcomed for deposition in the VTEC.

How to cite: If examination of material from the collection results in a publication, we request that the Virginia Tech Insect Collection is listed in the acknowledgements section of the article, and a PDF copy is emailed to VTEC staff (vtinsects@gmail.com). A Google Scholar site for tracking the use of the VTEC in scientific research is located at the following URL: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=EqWpt8cAAAAJ