Conservation Ecology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Museum

Stellenbosch University Entomology Collection (SUEC)

History

The museum was established in 1918, when material from the Transvaal Museum was donated.  Additional donations were made from Elsenberg Agricultural College and the Cape Agricultural Department, in particular agriculturally significant pests.  A major contribution was that of Prof J.G. Theron, who started the leafhopper collection in 1970, which is the largest collection in Africa.  More recently, Prof M.J. Samways has deposited his Odonata collection here.

Over the years students have added to the collection from specific post-graduate projects and material is continuously increasing.  Many of these projects were focused on fynbos insects.  Currently the collection also boasts the largest collection of moths from the fynbos in Africa. 

Current status

It is estimated that there are approximately 12 000 specimens in the collection, with an estimated 3000 being type specimens (leafhoppers, buprestids, Odonata and Orthoptera).  The moths, leafhoppers and Odonata make up approximately 20% of the collection.  The collection consists almost exclusively of South African species, with some leafhoppers and mosquitoes coming from outside of South Africa.  A major taxonomic revision was completed in 2010 by Prof H.G. Geertsema on the Lepidoptera.  Approximately 90% of the specimens are pinned, with 5% on slides (scales, mealybugs and aphids) while the other 5% are dragonflies in sleeves.

Importance

The collection has immense value for research and training of students and scholars.  We hope to build the collection to represent fynbos biodiversity and agriculturally important insects in the Western Cape.

Database

Specimens are not currently databased, however, this is currently being done.  Watch this space….

Contact: Dr Pia Addison (pia@sun.ac.za)

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