Butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera)

Butterflies and moths form the bulk of the SMNK's insect collection, comprising ca. 2.4 million specimens. It is the third-largest Lepidoptera collection in Germany; the collection of Microlepidoptera is the largest one in this country with ca. 500.000 specimens.

The collection achieved its current status after World War II thanks to the field collections of lepidopterists Amsel, Ebert, and Roesler, careful acquisitions of specialized collections, and to donations from private persons. Its geographic focus is on Europe, the Middle East (Iran, Afghanistan) and the Indo-Australian region. It contains more than 20.000 species, more than 500 primary types, and ca. 1.000 paratypes. Moreover, there are ca. 30.000 microscopic slides of mounted genitalia.

The Lepidoptera collection of the SMNK contains almost 300 individual collections or findings from expeditions. Major contributions came from the following entomologists: Amsel, Baisch, Bantle, Belter, Bender, Boursin, Burmann, Engelhardt, Daub, Ebert, Eckweiler (Lycaenidae), Froitzheim, Gremminger, Glaser, Heidelberger, Henriot, Hesselbarth, Hoegh-Guldberg, Junge, Kabis, Kaisila, Klapperich, Kudrna, Lienig, Mees, Meineke, Messmer, Naumann, Noack, Reich, Reisser, Roesler, Sälzl jun., Scheubel, Schüller, Schlusche, Sieder, Smetacek, Staib, Strobel, Trusch, Wagner, Wyatt.

Details of the collection's history are covered by the following publications:

Ebert, G. (1964): Die Macrolepidopteren-Sammlungen der Landessammlungen für Naturkunde in Karlsruhe und ihre Neugestaltung. – Beitr. naturk. Forsch. SüdwDtl., 23. 87—106.

Ebert, G. (1977): Die Macrolepidopteren-Sammlungen der Landessammlungen für Naturkunde Karlsruhe und ihre Neugestaltung (2. Teil). – Beitr. naturk. Forsch. SüdwDtl., 36: 247—260.

Ebert, G. (2004): Die Macrolepidopteren-Sammlungen des Staatlichen Museums für Naturkunde Karlsruhe und ihre Neugestaltung (3. Teil). – carolinea, 62: 129-144.

Curator in charge

Dr. Robert Trusch, Dipl.-Biol.

Dr. Robert Trusch, Dipl.-Biol.
Phone: +49 721 175-2842
E-Mail: trusch@smnk.de