National Pusa Collection (NPC) is an integral section of the Division of Entomology, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Division of Entomology is one of the first five Divisions of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute established in 1905. The Division has pioneered investigations in insect systematics and economic entomology vis-a-vis important crop pests. Over the last 50 years, NPC has directly contributed to the discovery and description of more than 1500 arthropod species previously unknown to science. Several taxonomic treatises on agriculturally important insects belonging to orders Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Orthoptera, and Hymenoptera, and class Acarina have been published. NPC comprises historical collections, dating from the early-1900s.
National Pusa Collection- View during the early days
National Pusa Collection - Current view
Importance of insect collections/museums in Agriculture
Collection, identification, and characterization of insects and mites that impact Indian agriculture and biosecurity, including pests of crops, alien invasive species, biological control agents for insect pests and weeds, species of quarantine significance are prerequisites for effective pest management strategies, and reduction of crop losses.
Beneficial insects such as honey bees, pollinators, silkworms, and lac insects are of fundamental importance to increasing the productivity of Indian agriculture. Collecting and preserving beneficial insects will help in the studies to understand biological changes (ex. phenotypic variations) with time.
Role of National Pusa Collection
Teaching: As a part of the entomology curriculum we offer courses to masters and doctoral students in insect taxonomy. Museum specimens are used in classes to educate students on insect diversity and taxonomy.
Research and explorations: Collection, characterization, and preservation of reference collections of insect specimens for scientific studies.
Consultation and outreach: For biologists, extension workers, farmers, biosecurity agents, and quarantine authorities, accurate and timely pest identification is key. As a national service for pest diagnostics, every year, on average over 2000 specimens are identified by the NPC taxonomists. NPC, by providing names of arthropod specimens for the stakeholders, has been instrumental in responding to national and regional pest management needs.