Division of Arthropods

open weekdays 8am - 5pm
visitors welcome by appointment
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phone: (505) 277-1360
fax: (505) 277-1351
museum administrator

tarantula hawk wasp

Division of Arthropods
Museum of Southwestern Biology
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
Division of Arthropods
Museum of Southwestern Biology
302 Yale Blvd NE
CERIA 83, Room 204
Albuquerque, NM 87131
shipping contact: 505-277-1360

Taxonomic Classifications used by the Division of Arthropods

Many different arthropod taxonomic classifications are available, and all classifications change over time. The Division of Arthropods has chosen to follow particular single baseline (starting point over time) classifications for various taxonomic groups of arthropods. We do not necessarily agree with all aspects of each classification, and some are already out-dated. However, we chose to follow certain classifications to provide reference standard classifications that can be cited and referenced by others. The division follows and Arnett (2000), American Insects, CRC Press, for insect classification above the genus rank, the Nomina Insecta Nearctica for the taxonomic classification of insects below the subfamily rank. Various sources are used to classify the non-insect arthropods. The division’s classification system utilizes only major taxonomic ranks because there are so many differences among published classification schemes within and between taxonomic groups. Taxonomic ranks including subfamily and above are organized phylogenetically, and genera and species are organized alphabetically below the subfamily level. The division’s classification system, specimen organization, and the specimen database are all updated approximately every decade as new versions of the Nomina, American Insects, and other sources are released. 

As specimens are identified by expert taxonomists using more current classifications, some groups of arthropods will begin following those more current classifications. Therefore, the division’s baseline classifications are slowing evolving with newer classifications over time. 

Taxonomic classification rank system used for the classification of specimens in the MSBA: Phylum, Class, Order, Suborder, Family, Subfamily, Genus organized alphabetically and Species (subspecies when applicable) organized alphabetically. 

Arthropod Baseline Classification Sources


pinacate beetle

Arnett, R. H., Jr. 2000. American Insects. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. (order, family and other ranks above genus and species)

Poole, R. W. and P. Gentili, editors. 2003. Nomina Insecta Nearctica. Entomological Information Services, P.O.Box 4350 Rockville, MD. (genus and species ranks)


wolf spider

Ubick, D., P. Paquin, P. E. Cushing and V. Roth, editors. 2005. Spiders of North America: An identification manual. American Arachnological Society.

World Spider Catalog

Scorpions, Centipedes, and Millipedes

sand scorpion

Fet, V. 2002. Catalog of the Scorpions of the World (1758-1998). New York Entomological Society, New York.


Hoffman, R.L. 1999. Checklist of the millipeds of North and Middle America. virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication no. 8: 1-584.

Natural History Special Publication no. 8: 1-584. Milli-PEET project, Field Museum, Chicago.


red velvet mite

Krantz, G.W. and D.E. Walter. 2009. A manual of acarology. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, TX.


Pinto-da-Rocha, R., G. Machado, and G. Giribet. 2007. Harvestmen: the biology of Opiliones. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.


Harvey, M.S. (2011). Pseudoscorpions of the World



The Arachnid Order Solifugae                                                                              

Aquatic Crustaceans


Smith, D. G. 2001. Pennak's Fresh-water Invertebrates of the United States. 4th edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.