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About the MSB
Division of Arthropods

Mission Statement

The mission of MSB Division of Arthropods is to:

  • Serve as a center of excellence to support state and regional study of arthropods.

  • Advance the taxonomy of arthropods and their inventory in the state and region.

  • Provide scientific understanding of the role of arthropods in community ecology and ecosystem function.

  • Support the conservation and management of rare or endangered arthropods.

  • Provide training and support for graduate and undergraduate students interested in arthropod study.

  • Provide outreach to the K-12 student community and general public of New Mexico to enrich their appreciation of arthropods and increase their general knowledge of them.

  • Support biodiversity informatics research to develop tools and resources to better make arthropod and other museum data available to the scientific, management and general public.

The Division of Arthropods is open by appointment only during regular business hours. Visitors should call or e-mail the Collection Managers Sandra Brantley (sbrantle@unm.edu, 505-277-8949) or David Lightfoot (dlightfo@unm.edu, 505-277-4225) in advance to arrange a date and time for visiting the collection.

The Division of Arthropods is located on the second floor in CERIA Building, Room 216 (Building 83). Directions to CERIA

Museum Services

Questions about arthropods, including identifications and general information may be obtained by calling the Arthropod Division at 277-4225 or 277-8949. Callers may be referred to other arthropod experts. The Links button on the panel to the left on this page also will take you to other web sites with information about Southwest arthropods. The New Mexico Arthropods page on this web site contains photographs and information representing some New Mexico arthropods that are commonly encountered by people, or are of particular interest to people. We are actively adding additional species to that page.

Visits and educational tours may be arranged through the Collection Manager. Visits and tours are limited depending upon museum staff availability. All visits and educational tours should be arranged for in advance by contacting the Curator or Collection Manager. Inquiries about visits and tours must first be made by contacting the Arthropod Division: 277-4225 or 277-8949.

Arthropod Specimen Collections. The MSB Arthropod Division maintains collections of specimens that are dry pinned, mounted on microscope slides, stored in alcohol, and frozen tissues of arthropods for DNA and other molecular samples. Please see Collections page for more information.

The Arthropod Specimen Database is a FileMaker Pro, relational database that contains data for all specimens housed in the Arthropod Collection. Our database records may be queried from the New Mexico Biodiversity Collections Consortium (NMBCC) web site. Select "query data" from the panel on the left side of the NMBCC web page. The NMBCC web site includes arthropod database information not only from the Museum of Southwestern Biology, but also from the insect collections at the New Mexico State University, Eastern New Mexico University, and Western New Mexico University. Institutional affiliation is noted for each record. We are currently still adding records to the database, and will continue to as new specimens are accessioned into our collection. Select the above NMBCC link for additional general information about invertebrates of New Mexico. Please see Collections page for more information.

Specimen loans may be arranged through the Collection Manager. One-year loans may be extended as needed. Please obtain a Specimen Loan Form from the Collection Manager or Museum Assistant. All specimen loan records are maintained in a database. Please see the Policy page for more information about the loan policy and process.

The Arthropod Division provides assistance for the preparation of specimen labels for people who intend to donate their specimens to the Arthropod Division. A Specimen Label Instruction Form is available to anyone interested in preparing specimen labels.

Some Arthropod Division staff and students are available for contract consulting projects. Such consulting includes arthropod identification, arthropod species inventory studies, other systematic or ecological research, and expert testimonies. Please contact the Curator for information concerning arthropod consulting projects.



Museum Facility Use

The Collection Work Room and the Arthropod Laboratory are the principal work areas for arthropod research and education. Both work areas are available to people by making advance arrangements with the Collection Manager. Personnel work desk space is available to UNM students, faculty, and staff depending upon availability of open work desks. Personal work space requests should be made to the Collection Manager. Contact the Curator for information about using the Live Arthropod Facility.

The Arthropod Division Library contains entomological books, journals, and journal reprints. Library materials are available for use in the Collection Work Room. Make arrangements with the Collection Manager for library material viewing or loans.

A variety of entomological supplies and equipment are available for use by people conducting research on arthropods. Supplies that may be borrowed include insect nets, light traps, malaise trap, microscopes and scope lights, forceps, and point punches. Make arrangements with the Collection Manger to borrow entomological supplies. Other expendable supplies such as insect pins, labels, and chemicals are not available. Please contact the Collection Managers to find out where to purchase those items. We generally order entomological supplies from : BioQuip Inc.