Biology Collections

Featured Collections in the Biology Program

James F. Scudday Vertebrate Collection

Portrait of James F. ScuddayThe James F. Scudday Vertebrate Collection contains 1,300 amphibians, 6,257 reptiles, 1,243 birds and 2,871 mammals for a total of 11,671 specimens. Each specimen is appropriately preserved for permanent storage and use. Records for each specimen include family, scientific name, locality and other collection data. The vertebrate collection serves as a valuable resource for research and teaching. Specimens are available for study by researchers at other institutions. The collection is largely regional, including excellent representation of the vertebrates occurring in the southwestern USA and Mexico. Also included are a substantial number of specimens from other regions of North American and some from other continents. For information, including the entire catalog on disk, contact Chris Ritzi at the Department of Biology or by e-mail at

The A. Michael Powell Herbarium

A. Michael PowellThe Herbarium, or SRSC, is located in the Barton H. Warnock Science Building on the Sul Ross campus in Alpine, and occupies one wing of the building with 112 cases holding approximately 100,000 specimens. The major collections include plants of Trans-Pecos Texas in the northern Chihuahuan Desert region. The Herbarium is a prominent regional research collection available to botanists around the world, and is also a valuable teaching facility for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in various botanical disciplines or in wildlife biology. Fordetails, contact A. Michael Powell, Director and Curator at the Department of Biology, or by e-mail at

The Jim V. Richerson Invertebrate Collection

Jim V. RichersonThe Insect/Anthropod Collection is a major scientific resource for the Department of Biology and the university. It is available to students and visiting scientists. About 80,000 adult pinned specimens and about the same number of immature stages are housed in 24 museum cases. The collection emphasizes insects of the northern Chihuahuan Desert Region in Trans-Pecos Texas and includes especially fine assemblages of insects that live on or in range plants and insects that vector animal (including human) diseases. The orders Lepidoptera, Odonata, Orthoptera and Coleoptera have been curated and identified more extensively than other insect orders represented in the collection.  Additionally, a robust collection of ectoparasitic arthropods of over 50,000 slide-mounted specimens is housed within the collection, helping to document the arthropod-vertebrate associations found both in the area and around the world. For information, contact Chris Ritzi at the Department of Biology, or by e-mail at