The Lepidoptera collection of the Natural History Museum in Vienna houses one of the largest collections of butterflies and moths in the world with around 3.5 million prepared and several hundred thousand unprepared specimens.
The collection includes around 40,000 type specimens, which are the most valuable representatives of biodiversity. The collection of the Central European and Mediterranean fauna, the fauna of the Canary Islands and the Near and Middle East is particularly well developed. Most of the rich variety of tropical Lepidoptera comes from the Neotropical and Oriental faunal regions. The collection of genital preparations contains 20,000 microscope slides.
The Lepidoptera collection has the largest photographic Noctuidae archive: 20,000 photos with type material from various museums and photos of genital structures, as well as a slide collection with 2,000 photos of alive tropical moths.
Dr. Sabine Gaal-Haszler
Visiting researchers have access to the collection and library, as well as suitable technical equipment. A stacking photography equipment of the department can also be used. If necessary, curators provide support on nature conservation and educational issues.
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
In the Lepidoptera collection of the Natural History Museum in Vienna, various questions relating to fauna, evolution and phylogeny of butterflies and moths are examined. Concrete research focuses are the systematics and comparative anatomy of owl moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), especially revisions and the comparative anatomical treatment of selected genera of the subfamilies Hypeninae and Herminiinae; the Noctuoidea of Austria; Processing of leaf mines.