3. Zoology Collection Crustacea

Natural History Museum Vienna

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Electronic database / Collection

Short Description

The collection Crustacea (crustacean) of the Natural History Museum Vienna (NHMW) houses ~ 27,000 inventoried objects of more than 5,000 species. This includes types of ~ 800 species, e.g. the types of the species described by C. Heller, H. Balss and O. Pesta. Extensive material from freshwater brachyura (crabs), land-living isopods (woodlice), "Thalassinidea" (mole crabs) and Austrian Branchiopods ("primeval crabs"), as well as the Decapoda of the Adriatic which O. Pesta described in his monograph "The Decapod Fauna of the Adriatic" are part of the collection.
The collection dates back to the middle of the 18th century. The oldest documented objects were acquired in 1806. In the 19th century the collection grew strongly, partly due to material given by well-known collectors - e.g. J. Natterer (from Brazil), G. Frauenfeld (from the Red Sea), T. Kotschy (from the Persian Gulf), I. Pfeiffer (from Indonesia) -, through several large expeditions - e.g. the circumnavigation of the Novara 1857-1859, the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition (1872-1874), the deep sea expeditions of the Pola into the Eastern Mediterranean (1890-1893) and into the Red Meer (1895-1898) -, through exchanges with other museums and by buying collections.

Contact Person

Dr. Martin Schwentner

Research Services

Identification of crustacean possible upon request
Tissue samples for DNA analyses available for research projects with cooperation partners

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The collection Crustacea can be used for a variety of investigations. In addition to classic morphological taxonomic studies, we also support molecular analyses. Thanks to our global coverage, we can usually guarantee a relatively good sample coverage for many projects that are carried out in cooperation with our department. In addition to the Branchiopods and Isopods (woodlice) of Austria and Central Europe, the focus is also on freshwater crabs (Brachyura) and "Thalassinidea" (mole crabs).

Allocation to Core Facility

3. Zoological Department, Natural History Museum Vienna

Access for scientists and interested parties during office hours (mon-fri, 9-16 hours) subject to agreement