The Hymenoptera Section

Riekisura curculionis head frontalThe ZSM houses, with over three million pinned and labeled specimens, Germany’s largest collection of Hymenoptera, most of which are identified to species level. It is internationally one of the largest collections of bees, wasps, ants, and parasitoids.

The megadiverse parasitic wasps (parasitoids) represent a major part of the Hymenoptera section. The collection of ichneumonids (Ichneumonidae) is of international importance because of its size and the number of type specimens. Several collections of renowned entomological specialists amount to the value of the collection of parasitoids, including Theodor Hartig (1805-1880), Arnold Förster (1810-1884), Josef Kriechbaumer (1819-1902), Erich Bauer (1885-1972), Gerd Heinrich (1896-1984), Rolf Hinz (1916-1994), Rudolf Bauer (1929-2003), and Klaus Horstmann (1938-2013).

Drawers of the Heinrich collection

The collection contains about 7,500 type specimens. Most of these are parasitoids (about 5,000 specimens, mainly Ichneumonidae), and there are about 1,500 type specimens of aculeate wasps and slightly over 600 type specimens of sawflies (Symphyta).

Specimens are stored in about 12,500 insect drawers. The collection hall is situated underground and fully air conditioned. It was built in 1985 according to modern curatorial standards.