Entomology I


Beetles (Coleoptera)

Beetles are the most species-rich insect order and comprise ca. 400 000 described species. They are easily recognized by their stiffened forewings (elytra), which protect the delicate underlying hindwings from mechanical damage.

Among the taxonomic focuses of the Senckenberg collection are long-horned beetles or Cerambycidae (collections of Elli Franz, Bernhard Schwarzer and others), whirligig beetles or Gyrinidae (collection of Georg Ochs), false click beetles or Eucnemidae (collection of Wilhelm Lucht), and weevils or Curculionidae (collection of Bronislaw Folwaczny and others). Other collections have a geographical focus, for example, Palaearctic beetles (collection of the chemist and Nobel laureate Carl Bosch), beetles from Nepal (collection of Jochen Martens) or beetles from the Cap Verde Islands (collection of Michael Geisthardt). Furthermore, there is a separate collection of beetles from the state of Hesse (Hesse/ Central Europe collection). This local reference collection was built up and is maintained by the members of the Hessian Coleopterologists. It includes collections of the late Hermann Vogt, Wilhelm Lucht, Dieter Liebegott and others. The world-wide beetle collection of Entomology I comprises about 1.7 million pinned specimens, including 6542 holo-, lecto- and paratypes.

Thrips (Thysanoptera)

Thrips comprise about 5300 minuscule species rarely exceeding 2 mm. Members of this order are recognized by a fringe of hairs on their wings. Thrips feed on fungi, higher plants, spores, pollen or insects. They can cause considerable economic damage by sucking on crops and ornamental plants, forming galls or transmitting plant diseases.

In the course of his 40 years of research on Thysanoptera, Richard zur Strassen accumulated a very comprehensive collection, one of the three most important in the world. The Thysanoptera collection was substantially enlarged by the acquisition of collections of Heinrich Karny (1886-1939), Hermann Priesner (1891-1974) and Erich Titschak (1893-1978). The Thysanoptera collection of Entomology I comprises about 270,000 specimens mounted on slides or kept in alcohol. It includes 3600 species of which 2120 are represented by holo-, lecto-, or paratypes.


Twisted-Wing Parasites (Strepsiptera)

Twisted-Wing Parasites form a small insect order of about 530 described species worldwide. Males can be recognized by their hindwings that can be folded like a fan and by reduced forewings. The females remain larva-like throughout their lives and develop as parasites within the abdomens of other insects such as bees and grasshoppers.
Strepsiptera kept in Entomology I stem basically from the important collection of Dr. Ragnar Kinzelbach. The collection contains 1189 specimens mounted on slides. Altogether, there are 77 species of which 40 are represented by holo- or paratypes.

An overview of the collections kept in Entomology I is given by Elli Franz (Senck. biol., Sonderheft B, 48: 55-72, 1967) and Richard zur Strassen (175 Jahre Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft, Jubiläumsband 2, Sektion Entomologie I, 87-95, 1994).