The Laboratory was organized in 1930 as the Department of Terrestrial Invertebrates. Nowadays it is one of the largest laboratories at the Zoological Institute. The staff of the laboratory includes 49 people of whom 34 are researchers (21 Doctors of Science and 13 Kandidats of Science) and 15 are collection curators and technicians.
The major trend of research activity in the laboratory is studying the composition, geographical distribution patterns and historical development of insect fauna in Russia and adjacent territories, as well as developing the natural system of various insect groups laying the foundation for the efficient plant protection and natural conservation.
The laboratory depositories keep numerous insect samples of great scientific value. This is one of the largest collections of insects in the world, which contains over 22 million specimens with numerous type specimens among them, including those collected by outstanding Russian investigators in Central Asia and Far East: N.M. Przewalski, N.G. Potanin, G.E. Grum-Grzhimailo, P.K. Kozlov, and others.