Research Collection

The Herpetology Collection contains approximately 345,000 preserved specimens.  There are approximately 152,600 amphibians and 194,900 reptiles. There are 2,674 primary types (holotypes, syntypes, lectotypes and neotypes) and 19,608 paratypes in the collection.

Several special collections supplement the alcoholic collection, these include:

  • 8,450 dried skeletons and skulls broken down as follows: caecilians 59; salamander 395; frogs 1361; lizards 4871; snakes 770; amphisbaenids 30; rhynchocephalians 4. 
  • Frozen tissue collection of approximately 13,900 tissues in the cryogenic facility, most all with voucher specimens, available for use.
  • 1,713 wet cleared and stained preparations, mostly amphibians, for osteological studies.
  • Chromosome slide, over 30,000 slides from 200+ species of over 2,500 specimens.  Most are from Anolis, Sceloporus lizards and various turtle genera.   Each slide is cross-referenced to corresponding voucher specimens.
  • Scanning electron micrographs, over 4,700 micrographs and associates SEM stubs, primarily of squamate scales.  
  • Embryology/histology slides, a small but important serial section collection. 

The information stored in the Herpetology Collection is of great historical value and nearly unparalleled in the research opportunities it provides in systematics, biogeography, ecology, morphology and many other aspects of the biology of amphibians and reptiles.

The Herpetology Collection is searchable online through MCZbase as well as through VertNet, iDigBio and GBIF.