The Clemson University Arthropod Collection (CUAC) supports the teaching, research, and extension activities of the University. The Collection consists of approximately 1.3 million specimens from Classes Insecta, Arachnida, Branchipoda, Copepoda, Diplopoda, and Chilopoda. The wet, alcohol-preserved collection is exceptionally rich, with over 1,000,000 specimens, nearly half of which are Trichoptera, or caddisflies, resulting from 40 years of work by Director Emeritus Dr. John Morse. The pinned, dry collection comprises only about 200,000 specimens, but also has strong regional representation of all the major orders.
In addition, a collection of black flies (Simuliidae) is maintained under the direction of Dr. Peter H. Adler at the Cherry Farm Insectary, which is located 1 mile from the central Clemson University Arthropod Collection. It consists of more than 6,200 ethanol vials (holdings inventoried in this pdf: CUAC black flies), 5,000 acetic ethanol vials, several thousand pinned specimens, and a large photographic bank of polytene chromosomes. The collection contains representatives of nearly all North American species, is rich in Palearctic material, and also contains representatives from the Australasian, Neotropical, and Oriental Regions. Complementing the collection are 12 file cabinets containing about 8,000 reprints and books related to black flies. The world inventory of black flies can be accessed at the following web site: World black fly catalog (pdf)
The CUAC collection serves as a permanent repository for specimens used in University research. It serves as a reference collection for identifying economically and ecologically significant samples sent in from all over South Carolina. The specimens in the collection also provide a historical record of the changing biota of the southeastern region dating back nearly 100 years.
The Museum's educational displays are used to enhance University courses and are viewed by visitors to the Collection and by participants in demonstrations at off-campus venues.