Australian Museum Entomology Collection

Entomology is the study of insects including flies, cicadas, moths, earwigs, fleas, bugs, cockroaches, bees, dragonflies, and termites.

Drawer in the Entomology Collection

Rhiannon Stephens © Australian Museum

Insects are animals that have:

  • a pair of antennae
  • six walking legs
  • a body divided into three parts
  • a skeleton outside the body
  • mouthparts which are adapted for particular diets

About the collection

The Australian Museum entomology collection contains mostly Australian species but there is a strong non-Australian representation of beetles, psocids (booklice), flies, butterflies and moths. The collection also has many undescribed species and species found in no other collections. The Australian Museum has the world's largest collections of bark lice and Australian acalyptrate flies and major collections of antlions, alderflies and beetles.

It is estimated that Australia has over 300,000 insect species, but only 160,000 have been named or described. Australian Museum entomologists spend much of their research time studying, describing and naming the many undescribed species contained in the vast collection.


Dr David Britton , Head, Natural Sciences & Biodiversity Conservation
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