Archiv für den Monat: Januar 2009

Tiger Beetles II

Bavarian Radio I featured “Charly” Werner’s efforts and collection today, Muenchner Merkur newspaper did so yesterday, paying tribute to a great collector and man. Contact: Coleoptera-ZSM (aat)


Where to find two million bees, wasps and ants on 200 square metres?

ZSM Hymenoptera collection hall.

ZSM Hymenoptera collection hall.

The ZSM holds one of the largest collections of Hymenoptera in the world. The Hymenoptera is a diverse groups of insects and includes the bees, wasps, and ants, but also the parasitic wasps that play an important role in nature because keep pest insect populations at a low level.

In the ZSM about two million Hymenoptera specimens are stored in a little more than 10,000 insect drawers. Standard size drawers are 41 x 52 cm wooden boxes with glass lid and a tight key and slot joint. Drawers are arranged in wooden cabinets that allow easy access to all parts of the collection.
About 10,000 drawers are arranged in wooden cabinets.


About 10,000 drawers are arranged in wooden cabinets.

About 10,000 drawers, arranged in cabinets.

The collection hall is underground and has no windows, keeping the risk of pest intrusions at a minimum. The floor space of the hall is about 200 m², an area smaller than a tennis court (261 m²). Climatic conditions (20°C, 45% rel. humity) are controlled and monitored using dataloggers, providing optimal conditions for the long-term storage of insect specimens. The insects were collected over a time period of more than two centuries, but even the oldest specimens, collected in the 18th century, are often in perfect condition.

Contact: Hymenoptera.ZSM(at)

A very rare Sawfly!

Skelesyzygonia spinipes

The images shows a male of the South American pergid sawfly Skelosyzygonia spinipes Malaise. The species is known only from the male. Note the large, spiniform, raptorial hind legs that are unique among sawflies. Males of Aulacomerus buquetii Spinola have also large, raptorial-like hindlegs, but they are not as large and they lack the spines. The hind legs of the female of A. buquetii are normal like in most other sawflies.

So far only a few specimens of Skelosyzygonia spinipes are present in entomological collections, all of them from locations in Brazil. The specimen depicted in the image is housed in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.


Contact: Hymenoptera.ZSM (at)

A historic ant collection from South America

Drawer with ants2009-01-22_134607_pt1  2009-01-22_1346491

In 1939 J. Hubrich purchased a collection of ants from South America that is now deposited in the ZSM. The ants in the drawer depicted in the images were collected about a century ago in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. Only a few specimens of this particular collection have been identified to species level.

Charly Werner Tiger Beetle Collection

21 January 2009 was the sad day when we, way too early, brought the fantastic Cicindelidae collection of Karl “Charly” Werner to the ZSM. Charly left us 12. May 2007, age 51. We pride ourselves to keep his legacy alive. The collection is one of the best in the world, containing about 70% of the world known species.