Herpetology

The Academy of Natural Sciences is the oldest natural history museum in North America. By virtue of that fact, the Herpetology Collection at the Academy is one of the most historically important and biologically diverse in the world.

The collection is of moderate size and cosmopolitan in scope with a strong emphasis of New World species. Prominent in the collection, and a special reason for its great value, are the primary types for many taxa.  It contains more than 500 named forms, and includes many primary types.

The current catalogues of the collection were begun around 1897 when Henry Weed Fowler became curator of "cold-blooded" vertebrates. Today the collection is completely databased and contains more than 40,000 specimens. It continues to grow and serve as a valuable tool to contemporary biological research.

Researchers interested in the collection should consult the loan policy and loan agreement page. Contact people for the department are Ned Gilmore, Collections Manager (egilmore@ansp.org) and Ted Daeschler, Associate Curator (daeschler@ansp.org).

Written queries should be addressed to either of these two at:

Department of Vertebrate Zoology
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195