As there was virtually no holdings of South African oligochaetes before Dr Plisko’s arrival in 1988, she built up the most representative collection of earthworms in southern Africa, which now includes over 6000 lots of specimens housed at this Museum. Continuous field collection is undertaken during rainy seasons to make sure the collection is growing and new material is available for research using modern techniques like DNA analysis. The collection includes four indigenous families and five introduced families (and one subfamily) with 143 types. All specimens are preserved in 70 % ethanol and stored in glass and plastic jars in metal cabinets or open shelves.
The collection also has specimens on long term loan from Iziko and Albany Museums. Our specimens have also been donated to other institutions. People who are interested in earthworms are more than welcome to come in and chat with us. Anyone interested in using the collection for research can contact the curator