Entomologie III

Terrestrial Zoology

Entomology III  – Lepidoptera and Trichoptera

The Entomology III team conducts research into the evolution, speciation, ecological adaptation and distribution of caddisflies, moths and butterflies. We are looking to answer questions about the development of populations and species and what influence global change has on these processes. The extensive collections of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) with 1.2 million specimens and Trichoptera (caddisflies) with over 20,000 series and specimens form the basis for morphological and genetic studies. There are also extensive library holdings (especially reprints and monographs, some books and journals) in the section’s working library. In addition, we develop and maintain online resources for the identification and documentation of insects, e.g. Trichoptera Africana, Trichoptera Scandinavica or the portal Insekten Hessen.

The research work is assigned to the Senckenberg research areas Biodiversity, Systematics and Evolution, Biodiversity and Environment and Biodiversity and Climate.


The entomological section was founded in 1822 by Frankfurt citizens interested in entomology under the chairmanship of Carl von Heyden (1793-1866). It was looked after by volunteer section members until the first paid (part-time) curator position was created in 1919, which was filled by the world-famous lepidopterist Adalbert Seitz (1869-1938). After his death, the coleopterist (beetle researcher) Elli Franz (1896-1983) became the first full-time head of the Entomology Section in 1938. The new section, founded in 1969, was initially headed by Dr. Heinz G. Schroeder (1969-1995), from 1995-2021 Dr. Wolfgang A. Nässig headed the section. Since his retirement, Prof. Dr. Steffen Pauls has headed the section, initially on an interim basis and full-time since 2024.