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A view of the Mississippi Entomological Museum


      The Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM) is located in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University near Starkville, MS. The MEM was formed in 1979, under the leadership of Dr. William H. Cross, to combine several private and institutional collections that were present in the state. The MEM initiated the Mississippi Arthropod Survey in 1982 and the Midsouth Arthropod Survey in 1990, with the latter emphasizing arthropods in unique and threatened habitats in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Current staff and museum associates include 18 researchers in Mississippi who are working on taxa in Araneae, Acarina, Plecoptera, Homoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera.


      The research collection contains more than 1,000,000 pinned specimens, and more than 35,000 are being added annually. The MEM includes collections, beginning in the late 1800's, of H. E. Weed, Henry Dietrich, J. M. Langston, R. W. Harned, Gladys Hoke-Lobdell, E. W. Stafford, M. R. Smith, William H. Cross, Leon W. Hepner, Bryant Mather, and Charles Bryson. Exotic material includes taxa from Central and South America, the Seychelles, New Caledonia, and Fiji Islands. The MacDonald Collection, emphasizing Lepidoptera of Panama, is housed in the MEM. The museum also houses the Ross E. Hutchins collection of photographs, which are primarily of insects and other natural history subjects, and the James Solomon collection of wood damage.



1.  Loans are normally for a period of three years; extensions of the term of loan will usually be made upon written request from the recipient.
2. Arrangements for deposition of type specimens based on MEM specimens must be approved by the Museum Director.
3. Retention of material with duplicate data identified by the borrower and representing not more than 1/4 of each species is permitted subject to approval by the Museum Director.
4.  No part of the loan may be forwarded to a third party without permission of the Museum Director.
5.  Reprints of any paper(s) based on study of loaned specimens should be sent to the Museum Director as soon as available.


Contact:  Terence L. Schiefer, Curator, Mississippi Entomological Museum, Box 9775, Mississippi State, MS 39762.  Phone: 662-325-2989, Email:


Collections, Literature, and Entomological Materials

      Private collections that contain high quality specimens labeled with collection data and that are of value for scientific research are accepted for donation. Specimens collected in National Parks cannot be accepted without written permission of the National Park Service. An evaluation of the monetary value of the collection can be given upon request, but deductions for tax purposes must be based according to IRS guidelines of “fair market value.” Donations of collections worth more than $5,000 generally require an appraisal from an independent party. For more information see:

      Entomological literature, photographs, supplies, equipment and other items are accepted for donation with prior approval of the Museum Director. 

Monetary Contributions

      Five funds have been established in the Mississippi State University Development Foundation and are available for contributing monetary funds to support operations of the Mississippi Entomological Museum. Endowment of funds requires one or more contributions to meet the minimum level of $15,000.  

      Checks for monetary contributions should be made to “Mississippi Entomological Museum” with the choice of fund indicated on the check or with an accompanying letter and sent to Dr. Richard L. Brown, Mississippi Entomological Museum, Box 9775, Mississippi State, MS 39762.


     Identifications of unknown pest insects are provided by the Mississippi Entomological Museum at no cost to residents of Mississippi. A fee of $40.00/species is charged for identifications requested from individuals outside Mississippi. Some specimens may be identified only to family or generic level depending on the stage and condition of the specimen, available taxonomic references, and previously identified comparative material in the Museum. 

      All specimens submitted for identification should be enclosed within a tight container that is then wrapped or surrounded by packing material, enclosed in a larger box or mailing tube, and mailed to Dr. Richard L. Brown, Mississippi Entomological Museum, Box 9775, Mississippi State, MS 39762 ( or by FEDEX/UPS to:  Dr. Richard L. Brown, 103 Clay Lyle, Department of Entomology, Mississippi State, MS 39762; ph. 662-325-2085). Submitted samples should include information on where and when the insect was found, including county, town or distance from nearest town or other landmark, date of collection. If damaging a plant, the name of the plant and description of its damage should be given. 

      Photographs of insects for which identifications are needed should be sent to Dr. Blake Layton, Extension Entomologist, Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology. Email:  

      For identification of moths, go to North American Moth Photographers Group. For identification of southeastern ants go to Ants of the Southeastern United States.


      The Mississippi Entomological Museum serves as the USDA-APHIS Regional Screening Center. The screening center was established to provide taxonomic services to eastern states coordinating with the Raleigh Hub. These services are designed to speed up the identification of possible exotic species. For more info about the screening center: MEM SCREENING CENTER.


      The Mississippi Entomological Museum Publication Series is an irregular series within the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Technical Bulletin series. The MEM series is distributed to all state and regional entomological collections in the United States, many international museums and university departments, and some 300 libraries in the United States and 63 other countries. Manuscripts that exceed 20 published pages and that concern basic areas of entomology, including morphology, systematics, natural history, evolution, and related aspects, will be considered for publication following reviewer's recommendations. Manuscripts from authors who have borrowed research material or collaborated with the MEM will be given first priority for publication. Authors receive 100 free copies of the published paper. Publication costs will vary according to number and type of illustrations; estimates of costs will be provided to prospective authors upon request.

      To order back issues, contact Terry Shiefer ( or Richard Brown ( at Mississippi Entomological Museum, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Box 9775, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775, phone: 662-325-2990 or 662-325-2989, fax: 662-325-8837.

Back Issues Available

Morphology and Systematics of North American Blastobasidae [Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea]. D. Adamski and R. L. Brown. 1989. MEM No. 1: 1-70. $10.00.

Morphology of Eyes and Sensory Receptors of Larval and Adult Stages of Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis Haworth (Lepidoptera: Psychidae). G. T. Baker.

Influence of Host Type and Host Switching on Nutritional Performance of the Bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis Haworth (Lepidoptera: Psychidae). K. E . Ward, S. B. Ramaswamy, and T. E. Nebeker. 1990. MEM No. 2: 1-20. $4.00.

Pachypsylla celtidismamma (Fletcher) (Homoptera: Psyllidae): Morphology and Histology of its Gall and Ultrastructure of its Adult and Nymphal Sensilla. J.M. Beisler and G. T. Baker. 1992. MEM No. 3: 1-27. $5.00.

A Revision and Cladistic Analysis of the Heliothis virescens Species-Group (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with a Preliminary Morphometric Analysis of Heliothis virescens. R. W. Poole , C. Mitter, and M. Huettel. 1993. MEM No. 4: 1-51. $10.00.

The Aquatic Hydrophilidae (Coleoptera) of Mississippi. S. Testa III and P.K. Lago. 1994. MEM No. 5: 1-71. $11.00.


      There are a variety of methods for insect collecting. For more information on this subject go to our "Insect Collecting Methods" site.


      Visiting Researchers will be provided with work space and microscope. For researchers willing to collaborate in the state survey, maps, habitat information, and permits for public lands will be provided. Identified duplicates of species in the researcher’s specialty taxon are requested for deposition as vouchers in the Mississippi Entomological Museum. [Photos of MEM visitors]

      Public visitors are welcome to see displays on insects and other entomological subjects in the foyer of the Clay Lyle Entomology Building during work day hours of 8 AM to 5 PM. Tours of the research collection are restricted to individuals and small groups and must be arranged in advance by contacting Richard L. Brown (662-325-2990).   


      The Mississippi Entomological Museum is located in the Clay Lyle Entomology Building between the Sorority houses and the USDA Crop Science Research Laboratory on the campus of Mississippi State University.

Clay Lyle Building

From Highway 82 Bypass to Entomology:
      The 82 bypass around Starkville has been completed (dashed line in Golden Triangle map). Take the Bypass to the Hwy 12 -MSU exit (2nd Starkville exit driving from east on Hwy 82, 3rd exit driving from west on Hwy 82 or from south on Hwy 25. After exiting the Bypass and going south, the large, barn-like indoor practice facility and drum-like coliseum will appear on the left. At the first signal light just beyond, turn left and go about 25 yards and then turn right onto a narrow street that goes between some fraternity houses. This narrow street comes to a T, where you do a "dog-leg" (quick right and then back left) to the signal light on the divided Bully Blvd. Go straight through this intersection towards the ante-bellum style sorority house and bear right up the hill to the Clay Lyle Entomology bldg
(MSU Campus map with Clay Lyle Entomology featured).

From the West on Highway 12 to Entomology:
      After the Holiday Inn Express on the north side of Hwy 12, go east through 3 signal lights (1st light – Jackson St; 2nd light – Montgomery St., 3rd light – Spring St). At the 3rd light, get in middle lane and go under the overpass for Hwy 12. Turn right at next signal and bear right up to hill to red brick bldg.

click map for larger scale map