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A recent symposium on the “museum preservation environment” including temperature and humidity


From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Michael Branstetter
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 1:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Optimal Humidity for Insect Collections


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Dear ECNers,


What is the optimal humidity level for insect collections, assuming one goal is to preserve DNA over the long-term?


Our USDA-ARS Bee collection in Logan, UT is renovating a new collection space and we are trying to determine if installing a dehumidifier would be a good idea or not. We've been told that the space should have 20-40% humidity most of the time, but it could spike to just over 50% during certain periods if we do not install a dehumidifier. Utah is generally very dry so I am not too concerned, but I am generally interested in knowing what the agreed upon optimum should be. Also, could it be detrimental to specimens to go too low?


If there are any publications, websites, or previous listserv threads that discuss this issue, I am interested.


Thank you.


Best regards,




Dr. Michael Branstetter

Research Entomologist

USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Pollinating Insects – Biology, Management & Systematics Research Unit

Utah State University, 5310 Old Main Hill

Logan, UT 84322-5310

Office: (435) 797-2588

Email: [log in to unmask]