Msstate Logo


The Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM) is located in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University near Starkville, MS. The MEM, with its collection of more than a million pinned specimens, alcohol collection of immature insects and spiders, and photographic collections, is a valuable resource for those interested in the study of arthropods. The museum and its trained staff provide the local community and students and faculty at Mississippi State University and other universities and institutions around the world with a wide variety of assistance. Loans of material are regularly mailed to various experts around the world for study (see our loan policy). Identifications are done for private individuals or businesses, government agencies, students, and faculty. Many tours and talks are given to school groups throughout the year by the MEM curator, Terry Schiefer, or by graduate students. Tours may be arranged by calling Terry at 66-325-2989 or emailing him at Talks about insects are routinely given to local schools, MSU classes, or other groups. Workshops are given by museum staff on an irregular basis on a variety of subjects including insect collecting, insect preparation, scientific illustration, identification of select groups of insects (such as ants), and digital photography using Leica and auto montage auto-formatting software (for more info on workshops contact Richard Brown at 662-325-2990, Graduate students from MSU or other institutions routinely use the collection to aid in their research. Specimens have been donated to various biology instructors for teaching purposes. The MSU art department has had many students over the years borrow or photograph specimens for various art projects. The MEM provides an assortment of photographs, some of which have been used in a variety of printed and web based publications. Several useful links are provided below.

Educational Aids

Mississippi Bug Blues - Website aimed at educating youth about important invasive insects in Mississippi

Specimen Preparation (pinning, alcohol presevervation, slide mounting)

MEM Collecting Methods - a simple guide to collecting insects
Making Specimen Labels [PDF] - a description of how we make labels in the MEM
Pinning ants - a guide to how we pin ants in the MEM
USDA Guide to Collecting and Preserving Insects and Mites [PDF]
Collecting and pinning microlepidoptera - MEM video tutorial (YouTube video)

Scientific Illustration

Scientific Illustration - some tips on basic entomological illustration techniques

Dissections - tutorials

Dissection of the male genitalia of the cactus moth, Cactoblastic cactorum (YouTube video)
Dissection of the female genitalia of the cactus moth, Cactoblastic cactorum (YouTube video)

Useful links for pinning, labeling, and collecting insects

USDA Guide to Collecting and Preserving Insects and Mites [PDF]