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With ca. 20,000 lots and 2,000 type series, the myriapod collection of the Naturalhistory Museum Vienna is one of the most important collections in the world. The collection is organised systematically and mostly includes samples preserved in jars with 75% ethanol but also micro-preparations of genitalia and other body structures of taxonomic importance. Most geographic regions are represented in the collection and many specimens are of a great historical value. The collection owes its importance to the work of the Austrian myriapodologist Carl Attems (1894 -1952) who described around 1,700 species and published 138 papers, monographs and textbooks. The collection also accommodates the private collection of Robert Latzel (1845-1919).
In the last fifty years, the collection was meticulously checked for types, organised taxonomically and, in the major part, inventoried. Solicited by experts from around the world, the type material is continuously studied, updated and represented in international publications. The collection enjoys today a new breath and an exponential growth in number of acquired specimens, especially types thanks to the recent research activities using modern technologies in the museum in addition to an important international collaborative work.
Dr. Nesrine Akkari
Remote access to types via high digital images of genitalia, key structures and measurements
Providing data on collection on demand
Detailed study of types in collaborative work
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
We perform integrative systematic research using both morphological and genetic approaches. Major focus is taxonomy including the description of new species to science, updating the nomenclature of older taxa, based on existing collections or freshly collected samples. Morphological methods range from light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy to micro-computed tomography. Phylogenetic studies using DNA analyses and aiming at understanding species evolutionary history are also performed for some selected groups.