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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and Milwaukee Public Museum Invertebrate Collections. Jennifer M. Zaspel (UWO), Tim Anderson (UWO), Gene H. Drecktrah (UWO), Linda Gruber (MPM), and Su Borkin (MPM). InvertNet – Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections.

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university of wisconsin oshkosh and milwaukee public museum invertebrate collections

University of Wisconsin Oshkoshand Milwaukee Public Museum Invertebrate Collections

Jennifer M. Zaspel (UWO), Tim Anderson (UWO), Gene H. Drecktrah (UWO), Linda Gruber (MPM), and Su Borkin (MPM)

InvertNet – Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections

history and scope of the uwo insect collection
History and scope of the UWO Insect Collection
  • Small collection, fewer than 200,000 specimens-HSC.
  • Reference collection for teaching and student research
  • Prior to the arrival of Dr. G. Drecktrah in 1969, UWOIC had 3 insect cabinets (presumably ordered by Dr. Merlin Schwertfeger)
  • Personal donations (e.g., Buckstaff family), student/faculty collections
  • G.H. Drecktrah collection: 7,000 pinned specimens
  • We currently have 30 cabinets in our collection, including 5 vial cabinets (24 Cornell and 3 USNM)
invertebrate collections
Invertebrate Collections
  • Pinned material: 18,000 specimens
  • Insects in vials: 25,000 specimens
  • Insects in jars: 5,000 specimens
  • Related arthropods in jars/vials: 4,000 specimens
  • Special project specimens in vials: 5,000 specimens
  • Estimated 20,000 biotic survey specimens (1979-2008)Northern WI streams (e.g., Lake Owen outflow, Porcupine Creek)
  • Teaching/research slides: 1,700 specimens (misc. ids)
  • Teaching/demonstration specimens: 2,000 specimens
strengths of the collection
Strengths of the Collection
  • Large Chironomidae holdings, approx. 81,000 specimens from 1995-96, 2003-12 (70% vials w/IDs)
  • Result of ongoing studies of Lake Winnebago chironomid communities.
  • Sediment sampling and gut analysis of the Lake Sturgeon

Stored samples in 95% EtOH (jars anddram vials)

strengths of the collection1
Strengths of the Collection
  • We have over 5,000 specimens from Australia 3,922 of which are larval Trichoptera, all identified to family and many to species
  • Recently added 1,000 specimens from collecting efforts in Australia, SW USA, Michigan/Wisconsin (mostly Lepidoptera)
  • Collecting efforts planned for 2012: CR and S. Korea
public outreach
Public Outreach
  • Undergraduate and graduate students interested in entomology participate in educational activities geared towards K-12 students (Science Olympiad & Science Safari)
  • Presentations at local museums, colleges, elementary schools, childcare facilities, to educate the public about insects and especially the chironomids “Lake Flies” of Lake Winnebago
uwoic today
  • Currently: 1 curator emeritus, 1 curator, 4 undergraduates (2 STEP), 1 CA, 1 part-time manager, and 1 volunteer working in the UWOIC
  • New cabinets/drawers in Spring 2011
  • Moved pinned specimens to new location in September 2011
  • Recently separated teaching and research collections, updated taxonomy, labels, trays, etc.
  • Data stored in excel files, now using Specify v. 6.4.06 EZBD; currently building taxon trees; databasing pinned material.

Wisconsin’s largest museum of human cultures and natural sciences, founded in 1884

Located in downtown Milwaukee

Non-profit operated as a public/private partnership between Milwaukee County and MPM, Inc.

history and scope of mpm
History and Scope of MPM
  • The invertebrate collection was founded in the late 1800’s, with a group of collections presented to the City of Milwaukee by the Natural History Society of Wisconsin that included "1,900 Marine invertebrates" and “2,690 Insects.”
  • Staff in the early 1900s including William Morton Wheeler, Charles T. Brues, Steven Graenicher and Robert Muttkowski also conducted collecting expeditions, most notably to western Wisconsin in 1911-1912.
  • The MPM now holds a global diversity of invertebrates with an emphasis on WI diversity
  • Currently, one curator, Susan Borkin is responsible for the invertebrate collections but MPM expects to add a collection manager in the near future.
strengths of the collection2
Strengths of the Collection
  • Crayfishes of WI
  • Mathiak Collection of freshwater Mussels of WI
  • Slugs of WI
  • Sponges of WI
invertebrate collections1
Invertebrate Collections
  • ca.70% (555,000) insects including about 100 primary types, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera comprise the largest holdings.
  • None digitized (Excel file with list of taxa & location in colln.)
  • ca. 30% (245,000) from 52 other invertebrate classes,

with Mollusca and Crustacea the largest collections.

  • All digitized (Access files to be converted to KE EMU) & some data on WI crayfishes, freshwater mussels, slugs and sponges available on MPM website.

Significant Insect Collections

  • Insect Type Collection (ca. 60 holotypes and 55 syntypes) of various orders and historical WI collections from the early 1900s.
  • Tropical Lepidoptera from James R. Neidhoefer including gynandromorphs; ca. 30,000 specimens from Principe Gagarin from endangered coastal sites in Brazil; and 28,000 U.S. Speyeriaspecimens collected by Arthur Moeck.
  • Worldwide collection of Sphingidae from William E. Sieker.
  • Costa Rican cacao-pollinating midges (Ceratopogonidae and Cecidomyiidae adult and immatures) from Allen M. Young’s research, most id. to species.
  • SW U.S., WI and Andean Carabidae from Gerald Noonan’s research in the 1970-80s.

Other SignificantCollections

  • Charles M. Wheatley historical collection of 55,000 SE U.S. freshwater mollusks, including species now thought to be extinct.
  • WI gastropod survey resulting in ca. 15,000 specimens mostly from leaf litter samples (1978-1980) and expertly determined by malacologist Leslie Hubricht.
  • WI arachnids including the historically important G. W. and E. G. Peckham jumping spider collection acquired in 1911, plus synoptic North American spiders from the Museum of Comparative Zoology received in exchange for retention of the Peckham type specimens, and 2300 spiders from a 1977 Milwaukee County, WI survey.
  • Crustacea with more than 12,000 WI crayfishes used as the basis of a state distribution study published by MPM in 1988 plus 8,500 Amphipoda, Isopoda and Branchiopoda.
current computing environment

Current computing environment

Strategic direction for all collections data and images to be stored in one central database, KE Emu

No taxonomic data exists in KE Emu today.

Botany collections are scheduled to be imported this year.

Specimens and other collection objects are sporadically digitized depending on need or projects such as those that received grant funding, but not a regular part of the accession process.

Modifications to KE Emu are necessary to accommodate invertebrate collections.

what uwo and mpm hope to achieve through invertnet participation
What UWO and MPM hope to achieve through InvertNet participation:
  • Method to allow rapid digitization of insect label data
  • Updated (standardized) taxonomic nomenclature
  • Best practices for managing digital information
  • Expert review, increased use of collections, and collaborations
  • Training undergraduate and graduate students in collections-based work