Accounting for 3 million specimens, the Coleoptera Collection is the largest one of the Department of Zoology. Materials from the Carpathian Basin contain all the species of the area and they also form two thirds of the collection.
The coverage of the ecozones is complete, however, some geographical areas are better represented than others, e.g. the Balkan Peninsula, the Caucasus, Mongolia, Korea, North Africa, New Guinea, Australia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Ghana, Congo, East Africa and some areas of South America.
Approximately 75 per cent of the specimens have been identified up to species level, while the rest of them have been sorted up to family level. Only the specimens of the most recent acquisitions have been waiting either for preparation or sorting.
Senior Curator: Ottó Merkl
Curators: György Makranczy, Győző Szél
Preparators: Aranka Grabant, Tamás Németh
Volunteers: András Paulovkin, Attila Podlussány
Number of specimens and type material
Total number of specimens: cca 3 million (2 million from the Carpathian Basin, one million from other regions)
Number of species: cca 100,000
Number of types (taxa): 12,000
Library: cca 1,200 coleopterological books and 25,000 reprints
Remarkable parts of the collection
The Reitter Collection
The most valuable part (although not a separate unit) of the Coleoptera Collection is the Reitter Collection, which contains identified specimens of 30,000 Palaearctic beetle taxa, including types of 5,000 species, subspecies and varieties. Most of the scientific requests for loans tend towards the Reitter's types. (However, in contrast with the general belief not all Reitter's types are deposited in Budapest.)
Darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae)
The collection of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) preserves nearly 12,000 species, including more than 5,100 type specimens. The species representation of the Palaearctic region (i.e. Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia) is almost complete, however, we have significant materials from all major zoogeographical regions. This part of our collection is well provided with literature sources.
Other important beetle families
The collections of blister beetles (Meloidae), rhinoceros beetles (Dynastinae of Scarabaeidae) and blind scavenger beetles (Bathyscinae of Leiodidae) are also remarkable especially in regard to the number of species and type specimens.
The collection of Mongolian beetles
Between 1963 and 1968, Zoltán Kaszab organised six solo expeditions to Mongolia, that was almost totally unexplored in that time from a zoological point of view. He collected more than 170,000 beetle specimens. All have been identified to the species level, and all data has already been published.
Complete database of the Coleoptera Collection is not available yet. Computerised lists of genera of certain families are available at our location.
Types of some families are listed here: http://coleocoll.nhmus.hu/type_material.html
The collection is open for visitors by appointment only.
Most collection materials are available for loan and scientific examination for external researchers.
To discuss any of your requests, please contact our curator firstname.lastname@example.org.