Insects and other Invertebrates

Norris Center Collections

The Norris Center houses three distinct insect collections:

  • The Randall Morgan Insect Collection includes approximately 72,000 specimens collected from 39 different locations in Santa Cruz County. In 1993, Morgan published a description of a new species of tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone) known only to occur in several small patches of coastal grassland in Santa Cruz county. His efforts led to the eventual recognition of the Ohlone tiger beetle as a federally endangered species. The Norris Center is currently supporting graduate student projects that involve re-visiting some of Morgan’s original study sites to study changes in insect diversity and plant phenology. Read more about Morgan's work at the Randall Morgan Initiative website.
  • The Gerhard Ringel Butterfly Collection includes approximately 5,000 specimens collected from around the world. In addition to featuring butterflies from tropical regions throughout the world, the collection also includes many of the species from the central coast of California.  Professor Ringel hand-raised many of the butterflies from eggs or caterpillars, resulting in perfect specimens with no wing damage.  The late Gerhard Ringel was a professor of mathematics at UC Santa Cruz who had a passion for butterflies.  In 2007, he donated his collection to UCSC.
  • The Insect Teaching Collection includes approximately 5000 specimens with an emphasis on taxonomic diversity appropriate for teaching entomology.

Santa Cruz Resources

Norris Center undergraduate Jessica Correa created two guides to the hoverflies (family Syrphidae) of UC Santa Cruz for her senior thesis.

The Natural History of the Family Syrphidae, and a Field Guide to the Common Genera of Syrphidae in Santa Cruz County, both by Jessica Correa.

spiders of ucsc coverWhile not insects, a recent Norris Center undergraduate, Maycee Hash, published a field guide to the spiders of UCSC. Check it out on Amazon, or come to the Norris Center for a discounted price. 





Other Insect and Invertebrate Resources

Bugs That Invade Your Home

Explore the many different insects that may be invading your home with this to-the-point guide that includesc helpful ideas for shooing them away.

National Geographic: bugs

Website by the publishers of the world famous magazine, chock full of amazing insect photographs, videos, and articles.

Insects Open Access Entomology Journal

An electronic peer-reviewed entomology journal published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. This journal is free to access - great for research papers!

LiveScience: Insect

Fascinating articles and videos on the latest research on insects and other invertebrates.


Bug Guide

A massive database of taxonomically sorted arthropod photos. Users can submit high quality photographs of North American arthropods to be identified.

The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Bugs

A wonderful compilation of links to articles, fact sheets, and other educational resources on a variety of insect topics.

Entomology at Home

A simple guide to the common insects found around North American houses.