Herpetology – Amphibia and Reptiles

The herpetological collection houses amphibians and reptiles - land vertebrates that are not closely related. The collection contains approximately 150,000 items, including

  • 1,400 bone, skeleton and dry preparation items
  • 130,000 animals preserved in alcohol, covering over 5,600 species
  • Tissue samples and recordings of frog calls

The oldest parts are the collections by M. E. Bloch and J. G. Schneider. Both date back to the 18th century. The collections that are especially important to the Berlin herpetological collections are the collections by H.C.M. Lichtenstein and W.C.H. Peters.

Parts of the Collection contributed by important Naturalists
During the19th century, important parts of the collection came from important naturalists from all over the world, including W. J. Ansorge (Western Africa), Graf von Borcke (South America, Africa, South East Asia), J. Nietner (Sri Lanka, India), A. von Humboldt (Siberia), L. Krebs (South Africa), G. Krefft (Australia), R. & M. R. Schomburk (Guyana and Australia) and C. E. von Martens (South East Asia).
The type specimens of altogether 1,900 species descriptions are an especially valuable part of our collection from a scientific point of view.
The current research and collection foci are the amphibians of Africa.
Because the alcohol collection is moved to the East Wing, it will be fully accessible for scientific use after December 2010 only.

Last update: 01.08.2011