The University of Arizona Insect Collection (UAIC) includes thousands of native bee specimens, representing 5 families (Andrenidae, Apidae, Colletidae, Halicitidae, and Megachilidae), 65 genera, and approximately 520 species. Many more species await discovery as we focus our energy on re-curating the native bee collection, processing our unidentified material, and targeting new specimen acquisitions. The collection itself and associated identification tools we are building will help researchers to understand and monitor the health of native bees of the Sonoran Desert Region.

Above is a view of the main cabinet aisle of the UAIC. The cabinets slide on rollers to allow access to the specimen drawers. On the right is UAIC curator Wendy Moore standing between two cabinets with several trays pulled partially out. She’s holding one of the education demonstration trays, which are housed in the regular specimen cabinets. The collection space is in the process of being expanded into another room with stationary cabinets. That will increase storage space by about 50%. Below is a drawer with examples of Arizona native bees.

The UAIC is providing specimens, data, and images for TBC’s work with the locals.

Above is an example of the medium resolution photos of pinned collection specimens, with their associated data tags slipped off the pin and arranged beside the specimen. To the right is an Internet usable 2.7 MB JPEG derived from a 235.5 MB high resolution TIF file. A leg was removed from this specimen for DNA barcoding after this photo was taken.

Photo by Carlos Martinez

The UAIC and the associated Moore Lab provide resources for DNA barcoding of specimens used in the Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience taught by TBC members at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. The specimen data and barcoding results are uploaded to the Barcode of Life Data System for analysis. Here’s an example.

Specimen data page screenshot from BOLD
DNA Barcode screenshot from BOLD
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