Welcome to the University of Alaska Museum Insect Collection. The collection was established as part of a NSF - funded Arctic Archival Observatory grant in late 2000.

The UAM Insect Collection is the northern-most facility of its kind in the United States. It has the potential to become a world-class depository for dry, alcohol, and preserved-tissue samples of northern arthropods (and other terrestrial invertebrates), primarily from Alaska.


Although a young collection (begun in 2000), we have recently surpassed 407,000 records representing over 2 million specimens in various curatorial states (as of Jan 2024), making this dataset among the top ten largest in entomology based on data served to iDigBio. Over 99% of these records have been georeferenced. As of 2020, approximately 90% of the 272,892  specimens in the pinned collection had been databased. Our database holds ~80,000 records of ethanol preserved specimens but it is unknown how much of the wet collection remains undatabased. At least one specimen of every lowest identification, in both the pinned and wet collections, has been databased so we have a complete online taxon inventory of the collection. 208,337 specimens have been identified to the species level - these represent ~4,200 species. We have been building a DNA barcode library of Alaskan species and have so far obtained DNA barcodes for 5,570 specimens. 150,000+ UAM Insect Collection specimen records have been cited or otherwise used in >100 peer-reviewed publications.


To create a resource that makes publicly available as much information as possible concerning the non-marine arthropods of Alaska.

We hope to answer these questions: Which species occur in Alaska? Where do these species occur? Are they changing? Surprisingly, despite over 200 years of science, we don't know if we've documented even half of the species in Alaska.


If you have a few hours a week and would like to volunteer in the Entomology Department please contact the Curator, Derek Sikes.


If you are thinking of starting a project that will produce non-marine invertebrate specimens which you would like to donate, please contact the Curator to discuss details such as which pins to use if you are pinning specimens (stainless #2 are highly recommended) and how to record latitude / longitude for your labels. See the section devoted to donations.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to support student and other entomological research in Alaska, you can do so at this website: https://uaf.edu/giving/ways/how.php

Important - In the gift designation or comments box, put “Kenelm W. Philip Entomology Fund.”


UAM Insect Collection Growth

Specimen Data

SEARCH the Insect Collection Database, ARCTOS, or try the saved searches below:
Find all DNA Barcoded specimens
Find all specimen records with images
Find records of potential Alaska endemics*
 List of species non-native to Alaska*
Draft checklist of nonmarine Arthropods of Alaska (species, smaller list)*
Draft checklist of nonmarine Arthropods of Alaska (any IDs, larger list)*



List of phyla, classes, and orders represented in the collection.
List of phyla, classes, orders, and families represented in the collection.
List of all identified species represented in the collection.


(*Note these lists include records from the literature of taxa not represented in the collection.)

Derek S. Sikes         
Curator of Insects, Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
1962 Yukon Dr.
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775

907 474 6278
dssikes 'at' alaska.edu

Bonanza Creek LTER field trip 2008 - from left: John Acorn, Ken Philip, Carolene Coon, Laura Lund, Tamara Sayre