Entomology III

Our section converges aquatic entomology and evolutionary biology. We aim to elucidate diversification, speciation, ecological adaptation and dispersal of mainly aquatic and semi-aquatic insects model organisms. To this end we perform comparative morphological and molecular genetic studies based on the diverse material available in our collection.

The section of Entomology III at the Senckenberg Institution manages the collection of the insect order Hymenoptera, comprising about 300,000 specimens and of the order Trichoptera, containing about 14, 000 objects.

Our studies belong to the Senckenberg Research Field Biodiversity and Systematics and Biodiversity and Ecosystems, respectively.


The department of Entomology of the Senckenberg Institution exists since 1822. Carl Georg von Heyden (1793-1866), Lukas von Heyden (1838-1915), Adalbert Seitz (1860-1938), and Elli Franz (1896-1983) were the former heads of the large insect collections. Albrecht Weis (1839-1914), chief of the Entomology department since 1894, was the first who engaged more intensively in the Hymenoptera (primarily bumble-bees).

The increase of the scientific staff allowed a reorganization of the department. In 1969 the department of Entomology was splitted into four independent sections (I-IV; relating to the recent structural reform the section Entomology IV is incorporated into the department of “Limnology and Conservation”. Dieter Stefan Peters was the first full-time curator of the section Entomology III. Jens-Peter Kopelke managed the section from 1980-2013. Steffen Pauls began managing the section in 2017.