My Collection

Ted C. MacRae Collection

I have been collecting insects since I was 9 years old, when I scraped together enough allowance ($1.25) to purchase the Golden Nature Guide, Insects (1956 edition), by Herbert Zim & Clarence Cottam. That book became my bible for the next several years – it survives today in my library, its binding taped and retaped from the heavy use it received those many years ago. Unfortunately, the insect specimens that I collected and identified using that book no longer exist – victims of kid neglect and a persistently mischievous cat.My present collection first took hold while I was an undergraduate, when I took Entomology 201 to start what I knew would be a life-long career in entomology. I didn’t know what I would do professionally, but I did know that I loved collecting insects and wanted to do it seriously. Three decades and countless collecting trips later, that collection now numbers approximately 75,000 specimens, surely one of the largest private insect collections in Missouri and rivaling the state’s largest public collection (University of Missouri-Columbia) in its representation of Missouri Buprestidae, Cerambycidae, and Cicindelidae. The collection is comprised chiefly of Coleoptera, with about two-thirds of the material representing species in the above named taxa (the subjects of my research interest). Scarabaeoidea and several smaller beetle family-group taxa are also well represented, though of hobby interest only, as are a few non-coleopteran taxa (primarily Cicadoidea and Membracoidea). Coverage is heavily Nearctic, with much of the material collected in the central states (Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska) and across the southwestern U.S. (Texas, Arizona, and California). The Buprestidae holdings are the most comprehensive, with nearly two-thirds of Nearctic species and subspecies represented (several dozen represented by paratypes) and nearly twice as many species representing other world areas. Nearctic Cerambycidae and Cicindelidae are well represented as well. Neotropical holdings are also significant, with material collected mostly in southern Mexico and in parts of South America (Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile). Old World holdings consist of material collected in South Africa and material from many areas acquired through exchange (primarily Europe, Japan, southeast Asia, and Australia). The collection is registered with the Florida State Collection of Arthropods with the coden: TCMC (Ted C. MacRae Collection). Click on the links below for detailed inventories:
COLEOPTERA TCMC Bostrichidae Inventory TCMC Buprestoidea Inventory TCMC Cerambycidae Inventory TCMC Chrysomelidae Inventory TCMC Cicindelidae Inventory TCMC Cleridae Inventory TCMC Eucnemidae Inventory TCMC Scarabaeoidea Inventory TCMC Tenebrionidae InventoryDIPTERA TCMC Asiloidea InventoryHEMIPTERA TCMC Cicadoidea Inventory TCMC Membracoidea InventoryHYMENOPTERA TCMC Mutillidae Inventory
The collection is housed in 100+ Cornell drawers in steel cabinets and 60 Schmidt-sized boxes. Cornell drawers are reserved for fully-curated specimens in research taxa and larger hobby taxa, while Schmidt-sized boxes are used for partially-curated material and smaller hobby taxa. Inventories are available for all research and several hobby taxa (links above) and will continue to be developed for additional hobby taxa as they become curated. Each inventory lists the species and number of specimens within the group’s higher classification. Some inventories also list species or higher taxa not represented in the collection – these are used as placeholders for desiderata or to indicate a complete higher classification and are denoted by use of light gray text.EXCHANGES & LOANS. I am interested in exchanges for Buprestoidea, Cerambycidae, and Cicindelidae, especially Nearctic species and higher taxa missing from my collection. In exchange, I can offer material in these and a variety of other taxa, as indicated by the inventories linked above. Specimens may also be loaned to interested individuals, especially those willing to determine unidentified material (with customary retention privileges). Please CONTACT me if you are interested in an exchange or loan of specimens. Please—no offers of insect specimens or merchandise for sale! Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2007–2012

16 thoughts on “My Collection

  1. Hi Adrian–I was actually thinking to add photos of different drawers and unit trays. Knowing there is interest might prompt me to do that sooner rather than later. Of course, they don’t look like the drawer in the leading photo – that’s an “oh, wow” drawer that I put together to hang on my office wall. Still, perhaps some photos of the actual working collection will be of interest.

  2. I’d appreciate that! I have in the past photographed some of the insect drawers that were open for public viewing at the
    Royal Provincial Museum here in Alberta. I found that with on-screen enlargement it was still possible to read the labels. I have actually used these to I.D some of my insect photos. I realize you can’t post them at such a high resolution, but I still find a well pinned and labeled insect collection a pleasure to behold.

  3. Wow, Ted! That drawer just makes me drool! More! More! I can’t even fathom what 100+ drawers and 60 boxes looks like. Must be bug heaven!

  4. I’ve just found your site via Bug Girl’s blog, and I’d like to second the motion for more thorough photo documentation of your magnificent collection! I’m just starting down the long road to entomology, myself 🙂

  5. Wow, cool! I’m also very very very crazy about BEETLEs and I’ve collected some specimens in China, but they cannot match these huge species. Thank you for visting my blog. I like your site, in spite of my poor English. You’re professional, while I can only show photos with very simple description. Still I hope you like it.

  6. Ted,

    Like you, I’ve been collecting insects since I was a kid (I’m now 60 years old). In all those years, I’ve collected only one Buprestis rufipes. They’re supposed to be fairly common where I live (near Houston, TX) but I never see them. Any advice on how to find/capture them?

    David Kent

    • Hi David. Thanks for stopping by.

      I had trouble finding Buprestis rufipes myself until I started looking for infested tree trunks and rearing them out. I have found this species breeding in trunks of standing dead slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) and pin oak (Quercus palustris) and a fallen, dead sugar maple (Acer saccharum). I think the size and condition of the wood is more important than the actual species, since it been recorded breeding in a variety of hardwoods. In each case where I found it, the trunks were large to very large (at least 8″ dia. and as much as 2′ dia.), and the wood was in early stages of decay with the bark partly sloughed and the outer wood layer slightly softened. You can find specific collection records for this species in MacRae & Nelson (2003) and MacRae (2006).

      Good luck – it sure is a beauty!

  7. We are looking to find the name of a beetle we found that looks like it is in your collection. Can you help us? My Son, Saxon (age 9) is a budding “bug guy”. Thank you, Mary Smith (mom) and Saxon Smith

  8. Wow, interesting !!???
    Nice collections out there!!??

    My name Donny Ardalando, from Indonesia, i’m collector too, but not an entomologist, just a free lancer who loves beetles, in here lot’s off species can be found

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