The Coleoptera collection includes ca. 2 million specimens, mostly dried and pinned, that represent ca. 80,000 species from all zoogeographical regions (i.e., well 20% of all described beetle species).
It holds primary types for at least 11,500 taxa, plus secondary types for numerous additional taxa. The most important systematic focus is the Curculionoidea, with nearly 20.000 species and primary types for ca. 7,400 taxa; this part of the collection is based on the extensive collecting efforts of the former curators KIRSCH and HELLER and also includes the important historical collections of FAUST and SCHULTZE. Other outstanding parts are the Scarabaeidae (including the FELSCHE-collection with about 11.000 species) and the less species-rich Mordellidae (including the ERMISCH-collection), Lycidae (KLEINE-COLLECTION), and Byrrhidae (mainly based on recent collecting by O. JÄGER). A recent regional focus is the Himalaya-region.
The curatorial status differs among the various beetle families. About 65% of the holdings is still stored in furniture from the 1950s, and some 5% are even stored in old and partly damaged drawers and boxes (inherited, donated, or bought from private collections decades ago). The curatorial status of these parts is critical. Since 2001 large efforts have been made to transfer the collection into modern furniture with unit trays in tightly closing drawers and steel cabinets. This transfer is done family-wise and is accompanied with the application of up-to-date taxonomy and systematics and with electronic inventorisation (based on MS Excel). This new set-up of the collection has been completed to about 30% and will foreseeably need 10 or 15 more years.