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INSECT STUDIES

(Entomology)


With over 4.5 million individual specimens the entomology collection is Austria’s second largest insect collection. Established in 1833, it is now maintained in the Biologiezentrum Linz of the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum.

The origins of the insect collection date back to the when the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum (Musealverein) was established in the year 1833. The collection underwent its first professional maintenance in the years 1902 to 1922 by the lepidopterologist (butterfly researcher) and collector Franz Hauder. He compiled the entomological collection from 1902 to 1922 for the at that time new Francisco-Carolinum museum building.

Specialised custodians have been responsible for maintaining the collection since 1914. A work group has thereby been able to maintain the collection largely autonomously: Dr Theodor Kerschner (1914 - 1945), Dr Franz Spillmann (1946 - 1947), Dr Wilhelm Freh (1947 - 1949), Dr Ämilian Kloiber (1949 - 1952, 1957 - 1962), Franz Helmut Hamann (1952 - 1954, 1962 - 1970), Drin Ilse Zeitler (1955 - 1957), Lecturer Dr Franz Speta (1970 - 1973, 1979 - 1981), Prof Günther Theischinger (1974 - 1979) and Mag. Fritz Gusenleitner (since 1981). The collection inventory is exclusively housed in the Biologiezentrum of the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum in Linz-Dornach.

Helmut Josef Schmidt and Roland Zarre are currently working on the insect collection as preparators and Claudia Reitstätter as a typist.

The custodians of the insect collection are also currently responsible for editing publications (Linz biology contributions, contributions to Upper Austria’s natural sciences, to an extent Stapfia and Denisia), the maintenance of the entomological work group and management of the Biologiezentrum Linz.

The objects in the collection come from around the globe with a collection focus on Austria. Approx. 4.5 million individual specimens are largely stored as dry collections but there are also wet and freeze-dried specimens. Approx. 25% of the collection is digitally recorded, whereby the records are primarily focused on the Austrian specimens. One special emphasis is on recording the butterflies and hymenoptera

Due to the scope of the collections and the fact that the specialised knowledge is scattered around the globe, it is possible to only gradually revise the materials at a species level, which is constantly being worked on.

An additional aim, which is being pursued and has been in part realised, is the individual labelling with the results of the identifications, the uniform external and base labelling of the collection boxes as well as improving the collection’s accessibility.

A large section of the hymenoptera type material is available in the ZOBODAT data archive in the form of a photo documentation (currently approx. 15,000 images), additional type inventory is being successively recorded.

The underlying type lists are available here as downloads.

A focus of the research activities is on the taxonomy of the hymenoptera (in particular hymenoptera: apidae), and revising the Austrian history of the natural sciences.

Images of the aculeate hymenoptera type material (e.g. bees, wasps, ants and related species) is currently being digitised.

One aim consists of the future acquisition of collections of internationally recognised scientists, such as Josef Gusenleitner, Maximilian Schwarz, Andreas Werner Ebmer, Heinz Mitter and Hans Malicky. The first four people mentioned are of Upper Austrian descent, who have been distinguished by the State of Upper Austria for their service as consultants.

Scientists and students from around the globe are working on the collection. To support the scientific exchange, in-house specimens are being lent out worldwide and in large numbers.

A large number of individual projects are being carried out by members of the entomology work group, who organise Austria’s largest insect conference every year in November.

The entomology collection cultivates intensive contacts with numerous museum collections and scientists in Austria, Europe and other continents.
Cooperation partners include the Natural History Museum in Vienna, the Natural History Museum in London, the ETH Zurich, the University of Belgrade, the St. Petersburg Museum, the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich, the California Academy of Sciences as well as many other institutions.

Weitere Informationen zu Publikationen und Personen in ZOBODAT.

Sammlung Entomologie (Insektenkunde)

 

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