County Road 11: MSU Entomological Museum

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTOK) -- Mississippi State University in Starkville boasts 22 museums and galleries, and all increase educational opportunities on and off campus. The MSU Entomological Museum has almost two thousand specimens of insects, which is one of the largest in the southeast. It's featured on County Road 11.

(Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

"It's important that our young people have an understanding and appreciation of nature and insects in their backyard," said Richard Brown, the museum's director. "We get lots of tours of young people, not only visiting the insect zoo but also we bring them back and show them some of the exotic insects from Panama."

"We have a drawer showing some large moths and bees and other insects and tell them about the habit of these insects," said Brown.

"Butterflies are not much interest to me, but these moths actually fly in the daytime and are just as colorful as many of the butterflies," said Brown. "Each label gives information about a specimen. What we're doing now is photographing representatives of each species and capturing all this label data so we can share it worldwide."

"I'm currently working on a project. It's been a long term project with ants of Mississippi, and we're especially concerned with the new invasive species," said Joe MacGown, a research technician. "I'm trying to finish up a big paper on the exotic ants of Mississippi."

"One of the insects that was of interest to Mississippi has been the boll weevil," said Brown. "You can see these are boll weevils that came into Mississippi in the early 1900's, and now they're considered eradicated."

"Many people don't recognize is that we have many undescribed new species new to science. Not only new species but new genre," said Brown.

"We have many, many new species that we're documenting, and that's one of the important things about a research collection like ours is documenting what do we have on our earth and what do we have in our backyards because there are so many kinds of insects that we know nothing about that are undescribed and new to science," said Brown.

The MSU Entomological Museum is located on campus at 100 Old Highway 12.

For more information, you can call (662) 325-2990, or visit www.msstate.edu/museums