Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History discovers, interprets and disseminates knowledge about the natural world, human cultures and the universe.

The Museum has steadily grown its world-renowned collections over the past 150 years. Today these collections include 34 million artifacts and specimens, of which nearly 20 million are arthropods—insects, arachnids and crustaceans from around the world. These are primarily studied by scientists, who have discovered tens of thousands of new arthropod species and described their anatomy, distributions, habits and relationships.

Here, however, specimens representing 40 species of insects were selected for a different reason: to bring the crisis of insect decline to public attention. Extinct & Endangered demonstrates how the Museum’s vast archive of Earth’s living and extinct diversity continues to grow in importance.

Some of the final images in Extinct and Endangered are composites of multiple insect specimens.