Insects make up the zoological group with the highest number of recorded and undiscovered species. Studying them is so complex that it requires the creation of reference collections, featuring series of specimens representative of their species and their variability. Overall, the entomological collections feature approx. 2 million specimens spread across more than 15,000 boxes, which makes the Musée des Confluences the region’s leading museum in this field.
Some of the collections are of historical interest (Rey, Foudras) which adds to their scientific value; others are more contemporary (Lepesme, Dottax, Nicolas, Soula); many contain type specimens (estimated ten thousand), representing new species described and used as references. Systematics is one of the key areas of entomological research and many scientists continue to study insects, by comparatively examining their specimens with the types described.
The entomological collections include specialised, world-renowned collections: scarabs, longhorn beetles, Fulgora, Saturniid butterflies and more general collections to study international or local fauna. For more than twenty years, the museum has played a driving role in increasing regional knowledge of insects via inventories of the museum’s collection and the contribution of a large number of participants.