Museum of Entomology
The Entomology Collection of The Complutense University comprises more than four million specimens. Approximately half of them are preserved in dry conditions and in special boxes to avoid infestation. Every specimen has a label with information about its identity, collecting location and collector’s name. The Entomological boxes are duly classified according to the taxonomic group to which they belong. In order to prevent light from damaging the original colours, they are kept in opaque containers that are locked. The other half of the specimens, including insects and other arthropods, are preserved in 70 ° glycerin alcohol and kept in freezers since evaporation is slow at low temperatures and the risk of biological attack is minimum.
The collections held at the Museum of Entomology of the Complutense University are registered with the initials UCME at the The Insect and Spider Collections of the World, which is a global entomologic collection database located at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. Not only are they particularly rich in European and Iberian fauna, but also in tropical fauna with a wide range of very colorful butterflies as well as spectacular beetles, most of which are of South American origin.
The Museum of Entomology Collections became more numerous and broader during the 1970s, when the Faculty of Biological Sciences was installed at the current location. Until then researchers deposited their collections at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, which they were usually linked with.
Along with the collections gathered during those years, there are also others of special historical and scientific interest.
In addition, D. Juan Gomez-Menor Ortega (1903-1983), professor at the University of Madrid, donated his Homopterous collection (mainly scale insects), which had been the result of his research on plant pests for more than fifty years.
Another two collections are of exceptional interest: The collection of Mr. Luis Jimenez Asúa (1889-1970), lawyer and professor of criminal law at the Complutense University of Madrid, who during his long exile compiled a rich collection of South American insects, and Dr. Manuel Median Ramos’ ant collection (1861-1922).