Insect and mite collection

Pinned insect speciment

The Biosecurity Scientific Collections Unit maintains one of the largest and most comprehensive agricultural insect and mite collections in Australia.

  • Formal collection acronym: ASCT (includes former NSW Forests insect collection FCNI)
  • CITES collection registration number AU073

The collection contains:

  • More than 500,000 pinned insects
  • 32,000 slide-mounted mites and smaller insects
  • 30,000 specimens stored in alcohol
  • About 400 primary types of insect and mite species
  • A range of historical illustrations, images and paraphernailia, including a collection of illustrations and paintings by EH Zeck.

These collections represent a physical record of the insects and related forms associated with agricultural, veterinary, forestry and human activities and the environment of NSW since 1890 when A.S. Olliff was appointed as the first government entomologist in NSW.

The collections provide identity, distributional and host information on a range of organisms of importance to humans. They also support important diagnostic, research and educational outcomes. The ongoing maintenance of these collections is vitally important in underpinning trade and market access for plants and plant products within Australia and internationally.

A majority of the collection is databased with near complete coverage of the most economically important groups. Access to records is via the Australian Plant Pest Database portal.

The collections are protected under the Agricultural Scientific Collections Trust Act 1983 and ownership is vested in the Agricultural Scientific Collections Trust.


Loans of material from this collection for genuine scientific purposes are available.