FOREST ENTOMOLOGY MUSEUM
In the main building of the Forestry Engineering University there is a Forest Entomology Museum at the forestry faculty. There are many valuable and unusual exhibits in the four halls of the museum. Entomological museum is a real world of forest insects.
In one of the halls of the museum there is a portrait of the professor NA. Kholodkovsky (1858-1921) – the professor of the Imperial Forest Institute, an outstanding scientist and writer, the founder of the Russian forest entomology, who was the initiator of the creation of the Museum.
The first collection of insects, which laid the foundation for the Museum, was in the Lisinsky Forestry Training College, where in 1859 an Entomological Study Room was created for practical classes of students. For this study room, a collection, which at the beginning consisted of only about 1,300 species of insects, was acquired.
During the first years of Soviet power, the Museum was significantly expanded and replenished. The outstanding Soviet entomologist M.N. Rimsky-Korsakov (1873-1951), who for 30 years was the head of the Forest Entomology Department of the Forest Institute, played a great role in its development.
Under his leadership and with the direct participation of special entomological expeditions that traveled to various parts of the Soviet Union, they studied forestry of the country. In the postwar period it fell into decay: huge forest tracts perished from pests, and entomological expeditions were to develop scientific methods for combating forest pests. Teachers, graduate students, students of the Forestry Academy, exploring the forests of Siberia, the Urals, the Volga region, the Caucasus, have done a great job in identifying and studying insect pests and in developing methods of pest control.
Collections of the Museum has about 5000 species of insects now. Among them there are species useful and harmful to humans. Insects differ in shape, color, size and play a huge role in nature. Useful insects pollinate plants, loosen soil, and destroy harmful insects. Insects-pests not only spoil the foliage, bark, wood, but also are able to completely destroy the forest.
Various species of forest insects are widely represented in the Museum. Such a rich collection of forest pests showing all stages of development of each species, as in the Museum of Forest Entomology of the Forestry Technical University, is not found in any museum or university of the world.
One of the newest exhibits of the museum tells how to deal with the Forest cockchafer (Melolontha). Entomologists suggested spraying the crown of birch with biological preparations that are harmless to plants and the environment and directed only at the Melolontha genus. A series of experiments have already been carried out in Roshchinsky Leskhoz, which proved the effectiveness of this method of biological protection of pine trees.
Among the exhibits is a tree trunk, entirely covered with a bizarre pattern. This is the work of bark beetles, dangerous and insidious pests, which cause great damage to the forest.
The pride of the Museum is the richest collection of butterflies.
Scientists-entomologists, studying the development, reproduction and behavior of insect pests, are working hard to preserve the country’s main wealth, its «green gold» — the forest.