Entomology

Collections

Entomology

The entomological collections include more than 5.5 million specimens from all over the world, thus forming the largest part of the museum’s inventory. Its major part holds about 4.8 million dried insects stored in more than 22,000 insect drawers. Additionally, a considerable amount of insects and other arthropods, mainly Crustacea and Arachnida, are stored in ethanol. In recent years, specimens are increasingly preserved in 100 % ethanol and stored in deep freezers at -80° C for genetic studies.

History

Ernst Hoffmann (1837-1892) became in 1869 the first entomologist employed on a full-time basis. He was lepidopterist and published the "Die Großschmetterlinge Europas". In 1913 Erwin Lindner (1888-1988) joined the the museum and was head of the Department of Entomology until 1953. He edited the "Fliegen der paläarktischen Region" which is well known among entomologists. Subsequently, from 1956 until 1982, the coleopterist Karl Wilhelm Harde (1922-1982) was head of the Department and co-editor of the "Käfer Mitteleuropas". In 1963 the section for phylogenetic research was founded for Willi Hennig (1913-1976). In 1998 this section was partly merged with the Department of Paleontology and partly with the Department of Entomology.

Collection coverage (2011)

Crustacea: Isopoda (woodlice)
70,000, with 270 type specimens
Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones
4,000, with 30 type specimens
Coleoptera (beetles)
2,000,000, with 4.400 type specimens
Diptera (flies)
470,000, with 1.150 type specimens
Heteroptera (bugs)
60,000, with 30 type specimens
Homoptera (cicadas)
160,000, with 50 type specimens
Hymenoptera (bees, ants, wasps)
350,000, with 180 type specimens
Lepidoptera (butterflies)
1,000,000, with 500 type specimens
Saltatoria (locusts and crickets)
60,000, with 50 type specimens
other Insects
300,000, with 100 type specimens

Collections