Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden

Lepidoptera

Lycaenidae

The butterfly and moth collection

Butterflies are not only very rich in species, but also very aesthetic insects. Since the mid-19th Century, significant progress has been made in the management of insects and their protection against mold, pests and sunlight. Dresden has developed in that time a true metropolis of Lepidopterology. Here, Dr. Otto Staudinger (1830-1900) established in 1859 its insect trading company, that became the largest of its kind at the end of the 19th Century. In 1862, the Entomological Club "Entomologischer Verein Iris zu Dresden" was founded. Its membership comprised well-known lepidopterists from around the world. As a result of this heyday, many butterfly collections were given to the Museum of Zoology Dresden, so the European collections of Otto Gruner (1799-1866), Franz Wilhelm Fritzsche (1811-1892), Heinrich Wilhelm Calberla (1839-1916) and Robert Seiler (1847-1917), the collection of blues and coppers (Lycaenidae) with many types of European and Southeast Asian species of Carl Ribbe (1860-1934) and the Tibet-collection by Walter Stötzner (1882-1965). Johannes Draeseke (1892-1970) who deserved as a renowned preparator for many decades to these collections, successfully saved the most important parts of the collection from destruction by World War II. After this war, a number of Saxonian collections which were compiled in former times of peace, were given to the museum, such as the collections by Ernst Möbius (1869-1945), Woldemar Heinitz (1874-1946), Hermann Starke (1870-1954), and John Skell (1893-1983). All these collections cover a period of more than 100 years and record more than 2,400 butterfly and moth species from Saxony. During this time, some of them became extinct, while others newly arrived.

The museum received further importand colelction, like the collection of Zygaenidae by Manfred Koch (1901-1972) as well as the business collection of Hans Kotzsch (1901-1950), the last owner of the former insect trading company Staudinger & Bang-Haas. Ever since that time, the museum's collection may be called a world collection which is now housed in over 6,000 insect boxes. Well over 800,000 butterflies and moth in 23,500 species are archived here from all over the world for science, education and exhibition.

The collection contains the primary types of about 1,000 species. Types are those animals on which were based the description of new species. Much of the type specimens of the collection are already cataloged (Bembenek 1981; Nekrutenko 2000, 2001 a, b, c, 2003).

With the move to the new museum building in 1999, a new collection management system was established, which  compiling all parts of the collection in standardized wooden boxes and metal cabinets to meet modern conservation requirements.

Further development of the collection focusses on the current research on Snout moths (Pyraloidea) of the World and the Central European micro-moths. In addition to traditional morphological methods thereby also the requirements for DNA investigation is taken into account.

References
Bembenek, H. 1981: Das Typenmaterial der Lepidopteren des Staatlichen Museums für Tierkunde Dresden. Teil I: Microlepidoptera. – Entomologische Abhandlungen, Dresden 44 (1): 1–8.
Nekrutenko, Y. P. 2000: A catalogue of the type specimens of Lycaenidae deposited in the collection of the Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). – Entomologische Abhandlungen Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 59: 143–215.
Nekrutenko, Y. P. 2001 a: A catalogue of the type specimens of Riodinidae deposited in the collection of the Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). – Entomologische Abhandlungen Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 59: 319–323.
Nekrutenko, Y. P. 2001 b: A catalogue of the type specimens of Nymphalidae deposited in the collection of the Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). – Entomologische Abhandlungen Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 59: 325–403.
Nekrutenko, Y. P. 2001 c: A catalogue of the type specimens of Papilionidae deposited in the collection of the Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). – Entomologische Abhandlungen Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 59: 405–453.
Nekrutenko, Y. P. 2003: A Catalogue of the type specimens of Hesperiidae and Pieridae deposited at the Museum für Tierkunde Dresden, with additions to the catalogues of Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera). – Entomologische Abhandlungen Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 60: 79–109.

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