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The Division of Entomology traces its roots to the beginning of the 19th century, with entomological observations of the early 1800s published by Timothy Dwight, an early president of Yale College. In the 1840s an early Librarian of the College, E.C. Herrick, wrote several articles on the biology of local pest insects. The first entomological teaching at Yale was by Asa Fitch in 1860, and then later, more regularly, by the distinguished invertebrate zoologist Addison E. Verrill. The noted American dipterist, Samuel W. Williston, began publishing his Manual of North America Diptera in 1888 in New Haven, Connecticut, although professionally he was an anatomist and vertebrate paleontologist, and served as research assistant to O.C. Marsh in the 1870s and 1880s.

During the first half of the 20th century, entomology was centered largely around the studies of Alexander Petrunkevich and G. Evelyn Hutchinson in the Yale Department of Zoology. The first full-time entomologist appointed to the faculty was Charles L. Remington in 1948. In addition to his academic program in 1953, Remington began developing a separate entomological collection at the Yale Peabody Museum, and was appointed Curator in 1956. After Remington’s retirement, Leonard Munstermann was appointed Associate Curator of Entomology in 1994.