Lepidoptera and Trichoptera – Butterflies, Moths and Caddisflies

The collection comprises approximately 4 million prepared Lepidoptera and approximately 10,000 Trichoptera specimens. Alcohol-preserved material in Trichoptera amounts to approximately 40,000 specimens.


The entire Lepidoptera collection fills 450 cabinets containing 10,000 boxes, in which approximately 4 million butterflies and moths are stored. The material comprises 75,000 species, of which eight percent are type material

The focus of the collection is Africa, although other continents are also represented. The display of the collection is not homogenous. Various individual collections co-exist, covering either a fauna region or following a taxonomic or ecologic theme (e.g. all taxa of one family). Alongside these individual collections, there is the main collection, which is displayed following taxonomic principles. In the future, all separate collections will be integrated into the main collection.

The oldest parts of the collection are over 200 years old, originating from the late 18th century (coll. Laspeyres, coll. J.C. von Hoffmannsegg).

The following scientifically important collections have either been integrated into the main collection or still exist as separate collections:

  • Collection of Holarctic butterflies and tropical Papilioniformes by O. Staudinger
  • Collection of Palaearctic Papilioniformes by R. Püngeler
  • Collection of African Papilioniformes by A. Schultze
  • Collection of South American Papilioniformes von H. Stichel
  • Collection of Chinese butterflies by A. Mell
  • Collection of mining insects by M.E. Hering

In addition, there are large and small collections by A. Bergmann, E. Urbahn, K. Huhst, H. Belling, H. Steuer as well as the complete material brought back from expeditions (e.g. the Schäfer 1938-39 or the Augusta River Expeditions [Sepik] 1911-1913).


The caddisfly collection occupies 10 cabinets containing 10,000 specimens mounted on pins. The 40,000-piece alcohol collection is stored in steel cabinets. Types of overall five hundred species are stored here. The collection focuses on the Palaearctic, Africa and South East Asia

Last update: 21.05.2011