The Lepidoptera (or butterflies and moths) collection contains 40,000 specimens, with the majority from Britain, Scotland and Perthshire. There are also 5,000 foreign specimens. The collection is backed up by an important archive of handwritten catalogues, annotated books, notebooks and correspondence. The most important collection is that of Francis Buchanan White (1842-1894). Buchanan White helped found, and became the First President of, the Perthshire Society of Natural Science and was the key mover for the establishment of the Perthshire Natural History Museum.
The strong Perthshire collection is the largest and most complete of its kind and includes voucher specimens of Scottish rarities. A number of taxa are now absent or extinct from former sites in the county. Perthshire is a very important area for the study of Scottish insects and there is a long history of study from 1800 to date at classic sites such as Rannoch. As well as the collections there is much historic data for Perthshire and other areas in archives and notebooks.
Other important named collections are those of Samuel Ellison (d.1939), Sir Thomas Moncreiffe (1822-1879) and David Coates (d.1980). The Coates collection contains specimens collected between 1960 and 1980 around Stirling and Aberfoyle.