1. Zoologie Herpetologische Sammlung

Natural History Museum Vienna

Wien | Website

Electronic database / Collection

Short Description

The comparative scientific collection comprises about 210,000 objects the majority (more than 200,000) are preserved in alcohol. The smaller part (about 6,000 objects are dry preparations (skeletons, mounts, skins). The oldest specimens dates back to the early 18th century.
The most important object data of each specimen (scientific name, locality and date of collecting, collector, date of acquisition, location of the object within the collection) are available in a computer database.

The collection of type specimens is the core of the scientific collection and holds about 580 amphibian- and 2300 reptile species at the moment. Enumeration of the type specimens as well as of the dry specimens are published in the form of catalogues.

The Herpetological Collection is open to the public. Apart from the custodial managing duties of increasing and preserving the collection, and making the specimens accessible, the staff members are involved in various scientific projects and cooperation with scientific colleagues. Furthermore, the Herpetological Collection is an information center for herpetological questions.

The following devices are available to researchers:
• Leica Wild M 420
• Leica M50
• Zeiss Stemi SV11
• Water value measuring device HQ40d (portable), Hach company, for measuring water conductivity, oxygen, pH value and temperature

Contact Person

Dr. Silke Schweiger

Research Services

Possible after consultation:
• Vertebrate identification
• DNA analysis of tissue samples
• Provision of photo material
• Support in research / preparation of scientific papers on topics relevant to collections
• Implementation of Citizen Science projects, determination courses

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The inventory database is supplemented by a database containing data on the distribution of the autochthonous amphibians and reptiles in Austria. This " Austrian Herpetofauna Database " currently contains 119 000 records including various biological and ecological information. The Herpetological Collection also houses a herpetological slide collection and a comprehensive library.
Provision of tissue samples from the extensive specimen collection with a focus on Europe and the Middle East

Identification of amphibians and reptiles (worldwide)

Implementation of research projects focused on herpetological topics, diploma theses and field work

Allocation to Core Facility

1. Zoologische Abteilung, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

Dr. Silke Schweiger
Zoo.I./Herpetologische Sammlung
+43 1 52177-619
The scientific collection may be accessed by interested persons upon appointment (email/telephone).
Austrian Armed Forces
Austria research platform
MA 22, Vienna
Museum Alexander König, Bonn
ÖGH Austrian Society for Herpetology
SEH Societas Europaea Herpetologica
DGHT German Society for Herpetology and Terraristics
Schönbrunn Zoo
Turtle Island