Lepidoptera collections

Colias croceus

Colias croceus

The Museum’s Lepidoptera collection contains approximately 8,712,000 specimens in 80,000 drawers.

The Lepidoptera specimens are divided into two separate collections, British and international, both of which are rich in type specimens.

8,712,000                                          

Specimens 

Strengths

International collection

The international collection holds extremely important Lepidoptera type material, some dating back to the eighteenth century.

The collection is comprehensive in its geographical coverage. Particularly well represented areas include:

  • Africa
  • India
  • Southest Asia
  • Australia

This collection includes taxa described by Bates, Bethune-Baker, Boisduval, Butler, Evans, Fabricius, Felder, Fruhstorfer, Hampson, Inoue, Jordan, Leech, Meyrick, Oberthur, Prout, Rothschild, Walker, Walsingham, Wileman and Zeller.

British collection

The British Lepidoptera collection contains pinned material collected in the UK.  It includes donations from important collectors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 

Material types

Specimens are carefully preserved in a variety of ways:

  • dried specimens mounted on pins– the majority of adult Lepidoptera
  • microscope slides – dissected body parts (e.g. genitalia), wing preparations or whole bodies
Preparations of small specimens
  • preserved in fluid, especially Lepidoptera larvae
  • boxed items

Looking for a specific specimen?

The Lepidoptera collection is being digitised

Any questions ?

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

Lepidoptera collections team

Collections manager

Geoff Martin

Senior curator

Blanca Huertas

Curator                                          

John Chainey

Curator

Alessandro Giusti

Curator                                         

Alberto Zilli

British reference collection

A British reference collection can be found at the Angela Marmount Centre for UK Biodiversity

Major collections

The British Lepidoptera collection includes donations from important collectors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Country of origin

The collection is comprehensive in its geographical coverage. Particularly well represented areas include:

  • Africa
  • India
  • Southeast Asia
  • Australia
  • British Isles

Important historical collections

  • Bankes
  • Chalmers-Hunt
  • Cockayne
  • Emmet
  • Ford
  • Goater
  • Jacobs
  • Kettlewell
  • Rothschild
  • Stainton
  • Stephens
  • Watson
  • West
visitor-accessing-collections-hti-single

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.