Collections - Arthropoda
The Entomology collections are dominated by the major collection of Diptera (flies), which was commenced by Dr B. R. Stuckenberg in 1953. This collection constitutes more than 220 000 specimens, and is one of the largest and most representative collections in the southern hemisphere. It is certainly the largest and most comprehensive collection of flies in Africa, and as such is an important resource for African entomologists. It has been enlarged and consolidated, both by extensive collecting in Southern Africa, and by the acquisition of other significant regional collections. Thus the Diptera collection of the Transvaal Museum was obtained by exchange in 1975, and the Zumpt Collection of the South African Institute of Medical Research was acquired by donation in 1983.
The collection of flies contains more than 1300 types, and is largely housed in almost 1000 wooden insect drawers, although there are also sizeable alcohol and slide collections.
Research by Natal Museum dipterists has concentrated on the systematics and biology of African flies. Research productivity and excellence have always been priorities, and much of our published knowledge of Southern African flies has emanated from the Natal Museum.
The Entomology collection also includes substantial collections of Heteroptera and Mecoptera.