Plummers Island, a small site situated along the northern shore of the Potomac River in Montgomery County, Maryland, has been the research home of the Washington Biologists' Field Club for more than 100 years. Field work conducted by club members from 1901 to about 1925 resulted in the accumulation of thousands of insect specimens of all orders from the Island, most of which are deposited in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Little collecting was conducted from ca. 1930–1950. In the 1960s sampling by Karl Krombein focused on bees and wasps and that by Terry Erwin on carabid beetles. Since 1998 the Lepidoptera fauna, leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae), and darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) all have been the subject of investigations. In 2005 and 2006 Malaise traps were deployed to sample other orders (e.g., Trichoptera, Diptera, Hyemenoptera). While the four major insect orders (i.e., Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera) are represented by large numbers of historical specimens, only Lepidoptera have been surveyed thoroughly in recent times; notable exceptions include specific families: carabid beetles, leaf beetles, darkling beetles, sawflies, and bees and wasps. Based on an examination of the insect collection of the National Museum of Natural History and a review of relevant literature, we document 3012 insect species in 253 families, encompassing 18 insect orders: Collembola, Odonata, Dermaptera, Blattodea, Phasmatodea, Orthoptera, Psocoptera, Thysanoptera, Hemiptera, Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Coleoptera, Mecoptera, Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Siphonaptera, and Hymenoptera.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1