Paranota ensifera (Boheman, 1854) on field in Mato Grosso (Brazil)

Terrestrial Zoology

Entomology I

The collections of Entomology I contain Beetles (Coleoptera), Thrips (Thysanoptera) and Twisted-Wing Parasites (Strepsiptera).

Our research program lies at the interface of integrative taxonomic-systematics, ecological biogeography, and bioinformatic modeling, with a particular focus on probing macroecology and macroevolutionary questions. Particular emphasis is placed on unveiling evolutionary processes shaping the evolution of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae), a superfamily of over 40,000 species.

Our collection

Established in 1822 by a group of entomology enthusiasts in Frankfurt, our section has a rich history that spans over two centuries.

Originally founded under the chairmanship of the esteemed Carl von Heyden, the collections were diligently maintained by dedicated volunteers until 1919. One notable contributor was Lucas von Heyden (1793-1866), whose passion for Hessian beetle faunistics left an indelible mark on our collections.

In 1919, a significant milestone was reached with the creation of the first hired part-time position as curator. This role was bestowed upon the world-renowned lepidopterologist, Adalbert Seitz (1869-1938), whose contributions significantly advanced our understanding of butterflies and moths.

Following Seitz’s passing, Dr. Elli Franz (1896-1983) assumed the position of the section’s first full-time curator in 1938. Her dedication and expertise propelled the field of entomology forward during her tenure. Upon her retirement, the Section of Entomology underwent a reorganization, resulting in the establishment of four independent sections.

In 1967, Section Entomology I emerged, under the leadership of Dr. Richard zur Strassen (1926-2013). Dr. zur Strassen’s impactful contributions and research in the field are deeply ingrained in our section’s legacy. In 1992, Dr. Damir Kovac took the helm, continuing the tradition of excellence and fostering new discoveries in the realm of entomology.

Starting in March 2023, our section is now under the curatorship of the Brazilian entomologist, Marianna Simões. With her expertise and passion for insects, Marianna brings a fresh perspective to our team, further enriching our research and collections.

To delve deeper into the captivating history of Section Entomology I, we invite you to explore the comprehensive surveys conducted by Dr. Elli Franz and Dr. Richard zur Strassen (below). Their works provide a captivating insight into the evolution of our section, its accomplishments, and its enduring dedication to advancing entomological knowledge.



Elli Franz 1967. Senckenbergiana biologica, Frankfurt am Main, 48 (Sonderheft B): 48: 55-72

175 Jahre Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft, Jubiläumsband 2, Sektion Entomologie I, 87-95, 1994