The Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity opened in 2004. The three-story, 42,000-square-foot building was constructed alongside the existing exhibit facility, Powell Hall, to house research and collections, as well as offer a public exhibit gallery and living “Butterfly Rainforest.”
Although the McGuire Center was new, several significant existing collections were awaiting relocation to the facility. These include the Florida Museum’s Allyn Museum of Entomology Collection, moved from its previous home in Sarasota, and Lepidoptera holdings from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods.
The McGuire center houses one of the world’s largest and most diverse Lepidoptera collections, including most of the world’s estimated 20,000 butterfly species and many of the estimated 245,000 moth species.* The collection continues to grow by about 200,000 specimens each year through the donation of private collections and contributions from staff and students conducting field work.
*Collection numbers were accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website for updated holdings information.