Insect and mite collection
The Agricultural Scientific Collections Unit (ASCU) maintains the largest and most comprehensive agricultural insect and mite collection in Australia.
The collection contains:
- 500,000 pinned insects;
- 30,000 slide-mounted mites and smaller insects;
- and 30,000 specimens stored in alcohol.
These collections represent a physical record of the insects and related forms associated with agricultural activity in New South Wales since 1890 when A.S. Olliff was appointed as the first government entomologist in NSW. There are about 400 primary types of insect and mite species held in the collections.
The collections are protected under the Agricultural Scientific Collections Trust Act 1983 and ownership is vested in the Scientific Collections Trust.
In addition to the insect collection, the department holds a collection of illustrations and paintings by EH Zeck, who was an entomologist with NSW Department of Agriculture until 1956.
Databasing of the collection has proceeded, funded by BioFirst (a NSW Government initiative), the Australian Plant Pest Database data capture program (Plant Health Australia in association with AFFA) and NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Loans of material from the collection for genuine scientific purposes can be obtained through writing to the Unit: email@example.com.
PLEASE NOTE: It is a condition for the issue of loans from collections in Australia that holotype specimens of new Australian species be deposited in an Australian institution. Holotypes designated from material on loan from NSW DPI's collections should be returned to these collections. Deposition of paratype or isotype material is subject to negotiation with the curators.