The Coleoptera (beetles) are one of the areas of strength in the Lyman Museum. Our history as an amateur collection explains this to a certain extent. The Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and Coleoptera are the two most popular orders of insects with collectors, partly because of their high diversity and often great beauty. Henry Lyman was an accomplished Lepidopterist but also included beetles in his personal collection that was the basis for our museum today. In the early years of the museum, Curator A.F. Winn made great efforts to build the collection, and this led to great expansion in all orders including the beetles. Our Coleoptera collection now numbers almost 250,000 specimens and continues to grow.
We have just received a new donation of beautifully prepared and scientifically valuable Coleoptera from Robert Juan. Mr. Juan and Pierre Bélanger are two local coleopterists who have a long association with the Lyman. These specimens, along with previous donations from both these collectors, will be valuable reference material for many years to come for students and other researchers using our collection to identify beetles and document our unknown biodiversity.
Entomology is one of the scientific disciplines that has benefited tremendously from the contributions of amateurs, and in our almost 100 years of history the Lyman Museum has been a great example of close collaboration between amateur entomologists and university researchers.