Oak moths return to Cal

Expect campus trees to be defoliated this year.

The California oak moth (Phryganidia californica) returns to the Cal campus for the second year in a row. The summer generation moths will give rise to late summer caterpillars that will attack coast live oak trees.

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Students planting at VLSB

Restoration Project

Plants on campus provide food and shelter for a variety of arthropods, birds, and other urban wildlife. The Essig Museum is working with students and the campus landscape team to restore native plant communities around the Valley of Life Sciences

Holdings & Databases

Holdings & Databases

Essig Museum staff and volunteers have been building several databases, including a list of species and specimens in the collection. Digitizing activities were greatly amplified by the CalBug project (2010-2015) funded by the National Science Foundation. For many specimens, labels

Looking at specimens

Public Events

Each year we host three events when we open our doors to the public: Darwin Day (February), Cal Day (April), and Homecoming (October). Each has a slightly different focus.   As a research collection, the Essig Museum does not have

During the coronavirus pandemic

Following guidelines set forth by UC Berkeley and the State of California, beginning 17 March 2020, the Essig Museum is effectively closed for the next several weeks. There will be no on-site identification services, specimen loans issued or received, or curation, as staff will be working remotely. We have access to email and can respond to data requests, but all on-site operations are suspended until further notice.

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Our Mission

The Essig Museum of Entomology on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley houses an active research collection of over 5,000,000 terrestrial arthropods. From humble beginnings as a teaching collection over a hundred years ago, through exponential growth as the California Insect Survey beginning in 1939, the Essig Museum is now one of the largest and most important university-based research collections of insects in North America. Primarily a collection of specimens from the Western Hemisphere, regional emphasis is on the eastern Pacific Rim, in particular California, Mexico, and Central America, and the islands of the central Pacific. The mission of the museum is utilization of the collection to facilitate and document research, teaching, and outreach in arthropod biology. We are committed to making the information contained in our collection as accessible as possible to researchers, students, and the nonacademic community, and actively pursue interactions which will foster this development, within the Berkeley Natural History Museums consortium, as well as nationally and globally.

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