Per L.A. County Department of Public Health, masks must be worn at all times indoors and in our outdoor Spider Pavilion. NHMLAC currently does not require visitors to show proof of vaccination. We are working through the implications of the LA City ordinance with respect to our operations. View our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for more information.


insects bugs specimens drawer research and collections entomology

With over 800,000 described species—more than half of all known living organisms—insects are the most diverse group of animals on Earth. NHMLAC’s entomology collection, one of the largest at the museums, has approximately 6 million specimens of insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods. It is the largest in Southern California and has specimens from all over the world. The collection's strength lies in its holdings of specimens of ants, phorid flies, scarab beetles, and moths from North and Central America. We also have a large and growing collection of insects in amber, about 3,000 pieces. 

Entomology at the Natural History Museum goes back as far as 1913, when NHM  first opened. 


Museum scientists conduct world-class research on systematics, studying species and their relationships, the evolution of major groups, and fossil insects in amber. They conduct field work on insect biodiversity at home and in tropical countries. 

Qualified researchers can request loans from the collection by contacting us at the address below.


Urban Nature Research Center 


Catalog of holdings

Our Staff

Brian Brown, Ph.D.
Curator, Entomology and Co-director, Urban Nature Research Center

Dr. Brian V. Brown, head of the Natural History Museum's Entomology Department and Curator of Entomology, has pursued an interest in insects since he was 5, when he created an insect zoo in his backyard in Toronto, Canada.

Lisa Gonzalez
Assistant Collections Manager, Entomology

Lisa, who joined the BioSCAN project in 2012 as an Assistant Collections Manager, received a B.S. in Entomology from UC Riverside.

Estella Hernandez
Assistant Collections Manager, Entomology

Estella works on the BioSCAN project and manages students and volunteers who are also involved on the project.

Giar-Ann Kung
Collections Manager, Entomology

Giar-Ann Kung is one of the Entomology Department's Collections Managers. She is responsible for the care and maintenance of the entomology collection.

Saori Lobbia
Research Assistant, Entomology

Saori identifies phorid flies from around the world and from BioSCAN samples from urban backyards across Los Angeles using DNA barcoding.

Maria Wong
Research Assistant, Entomology

As soon as Maria joined the BioSCAN Project in 2015, she started learning about the local phorid fauna of L.A. from entomologist Emily Hartop.

Weiping Xie
Collections Manager, Entomology

Mr. Weiping Xie is the Entomology Department's Collections Manager. He is responsible for care and maintenance of the entomology collection's pinned, alcohol-preserved, and slide-mounted specimens.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Brian Brown at