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ASUHIC – Hasbrouck Insect Collection



Night of the Open Door, 2012

Welcome to the new homepage of the Arizona State University Frank F. Hasbrouck Insect Collection. Visit us at the new, accessible location on 734 W. Alemeda Drive and get a first-hand science education experience of our insects and activities. Search our specimen-level holdings at the Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network portal. Get involved by contributing to our activities, or making tax-deductible specimen or monetary donations. Request a loan of our specimens for research.



This new ASUHIC “family” of pages is in development: it forms part of our new taxonbytes theme and serves as a front end to learn about the history, personnel, physical and virtual holdings, and research and outreach activities associated with the collection and its members. ASUHIC is a unique resource for learning about insects in the greater Phoenix area and southwestern United States region. We encourage you to visit us and offer potential sponsors a number of options to support our mission and activities.



Frank F. Hasbrouck

The Hasbrouck Insect Collection began to flourish in the early 1960s when Dr. Frank F. Hasbrouck, a graduate of the University of Illinois and specialist in the taxonomy of “burrowing webworm moths” in the family Acrolophidae, was recruited to ASU as a professor and curator of insects. At the time the collection had approximately 50,000 specimens, used mainly in support of  the teaching activities that took place at ASU since the 1910s. It was known as ASUT for “Tempe”. Hasbrouck was joined by other faculty members including Gordon Bender, Gordon Castle, Herbert Stahnke, and above all Mont A. Cazier who was a former curator at the American Museum of Natural History, an outstanding naturalist and collector, and instrumental in founding the Southwestern Research Station located in Portal, Arizona. Jointly and through interactions with many outside specialists, this group of ASU entomologists grew the collection to nearly 700,000 specimens in a span of three decades, with a strong emphasis on documenting the southwestern United States insect fauna. Hasbrouck was known for his meticulous style of curation where every specimen had to be “just so”. The results greatly raised the collection’s profile and research value. However towards the late 1980s the group of specialists gradually retired or left the university, leading to a 25-year period of limited activity. In 2011 Dr. Nico Franz was appointed as the new curator, and in the subsequent year Dr. Sangmi Lee was hired as the collection manager. The official collection coden was changed to ASUHIC. With new personnel and resources, the collection has been fully reactivated with a diverse program in research, teaching, and outreach to the public.


Physical Holdings


ASUHIC beetle specimens

We estimate the current ASUHIC holdings to total nearly 2,300 drawers and 750,000 specimens representing at least 25 orders, 390 families, 3,500 genera, 12,000 species and 1,240 subspecies of hexapods. Most specimens are from the southwestern United States; however considerable representative material is also available from other North American regions and Mexico. Beetles (Coleoptera) and moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) are particularly well represented reflecting the research concentrations of past and present collection personnel. The overwhelming majority of specimens are pinned – Dr. Hasbrouck was not interested in maintaining a wet collection – and approximately 80-90% are authoritatively identified to the level of species. New growth includes acquisitions of New World weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) through the Charles W. O’Brien Collection and ongoing research activities, as well as micro-moths (Lepidoptera) with a more regional concentration.

While we are actively databasing the holdings at a rate of more than 30,000 specimens per year, we do not yet have available a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of the ASUHIC species- and specimen-level holdings. The most recent species-level collection inventory was carried out in the early 1990s by Drs. Cazier and Douglas. The scanned ledger is available here as a searchable PDF (~ 16 MB). Users should be aware that the taxonomic classification and names used in this resource are often outdated.

Virtual Holdings

SCAN logo

SCAN logo

The Hasbrouck Insect Collections specimen holdings are presently being databased and served on-line, thanks in part to an NSF ADBC grant “SCAN – Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network”. We use the powerful and versatile Symbiota software platform to create, manage, and curate our virtual collections. Explore the links below to search our database for specimen occurrence records, images, species pages, checklists, and (coming soon) interactive identification keys.

  • Statistics for virtual ASUHIC holdings as of July 20th, 2014:
    • 58,020 specimens
    • 100% georeferenced
    • 1% with images (1484 images)
    • 111 families
    • 985 genera
    • 3105 species

Research and Outreach

Members of the collection maintain an active and diverse research and outreach program that deliberately blurs the lines between research lab, research and teaching collection, classroom, and public projects and appearances. The following links provide a suitable overview.

Mailing Address

ASU – Hasbrouck Insect Collection
c/o Dr. Nico Franz (curator), or Dr. Sangmi Lee (manager)
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501 [PO Box address]
734 West Alameda Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282-3348 [Physical address]