The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association


Willy Biesenbaum, Velbert: Sammlung Kleinschmetterlinge aus Europa, über 40,000 Exemplare, und tausende Genitalpreparate. Dauerleihgabe der NRW Stiftung.
Willibald Schmitz, Bergisch Gladbach: Sammlung Kleinschmetterlinge aus Europa und Asien, über 40,000 Exemplare. Diese Sammlung befindet sich zur weiteren Bearbeitung noch bei Herrn Schmitz.

About 2 million specimens of all butterfly and moths families (geographical focus: Palaearctic Region and Southeast Asia).
The collection contains more than 2000 primary types (holo-, lecto-, neotypes, many other species are represented by syntypes). Particularly worth mentioning are the following holdings:

  • Collection Hermann Höne: about 500.000 specimens of all butterfly- and moth-families from China
  • Collection René Oberthür: about 160.000 specimens of many different butterfly- and moth-families (half of the material also of Chinese origin. These are duplicate specimens out of the collection of Charles Oberthür)
  • Collection Eugen Wehrli: about 150.000 specimens of the moth-family Geometridae (Geometer Moths). Containing also material from the Höne-collection and parts of the historical collections Ch. Oberthür, A. Guenée and M. Boisduval, including a large number of type specimens.
  • Collection Clas M. Naumann: about 100.000 specimens of Zygaenidae, most important and complete collection of the genus Zygaena, containing a large number of type specimens.
  • Collection Sigbert Wagener: about 90.000 specimens of butterflies and moths, collected in Europe, N. Africa and Turkey. Containing all voucher specimens of the monumental book (in 3 vols) "Butterflies of Turkey" and many other publications. Housed at ZFMK on permanent loan from the NRW Stiftung.
  • Collection Klaus Rose, Mainz: valuable collection of Palaearctic butterflies, including many types. This collection is still in the hands of Prof. K. Rose, for further studies.
  • Collection Willy Biesenbaum, Velbert: Collection of Microlepidoptera from Europe, over 40,000 specimens and thousands of genitalia preps. Housed at ZFMK on permanent loan from the NRW Stiftung.

  • Collection Willibald Schmitz, Bergisch Gladbach: Collection of Microlepidoptera from Europe and Asia, over 40,000 specimens. This collection is still in the hands of Dr. Schmitz, for further studies.

  • Collection Peter Kuhna, Wipperfürth: about 60.000 specimens of butterflies and moths, collected in Europe, N. Africa and Turkey, with a strong focus on the moth family Noctuidae (about half of the material) and on Turkey as a geographical focus. Containing a number of type specimens, based on own descriptions, and ~ 800 genitalia preparations.
  • Collection Melchior Pass: more than 200 drawers containing tropical butterflies, hawk-moths (Sphingidae) and emperor moths (Saturniidae) more
  • Collection of the Cologne Zoo and Collection Matthias Forst: about 90.000 specimens of all lepidoptera families. Was housed at the "Insectarium" of the Cologne Zoo for many years.
  • Lepidoptera Collection of the "Fuhlrott-Museum" Wuppertal: around 30.000 specimens of many butterfly and moth families.
  • Local Rhineland Collection of butterflies and moths: around 60.000 specimens from Bonn and surrounding regions, containing more than 1.000 species
  • Collection of material of the order Trichoptera (closely related to Lepidoptera): about 2800 specimens (pinned or preserved in ethanol). The collection contains valuable type specimens, mainly from China.

Contact person

Head of section
+49 228 9122-220
+49 228 9122-212
m.espeland [at]