Beetles Coleoptera

The general collection houses beetles from all over the world, with the individual regional fauna being represented in different ways. Geographical areas of focus include the Himalayas, Central Asia (Laos, China) and the Arabian peninsula. Thanks to numerous expeditions to these areas, our collections now enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide.

With around 370,000 known species, beetles are the largest order in the animal kingdom. And many are still yet to be discovered. Beetles live everywhere. They populate every conceivable habitat on earth. 7,000 species have been discovered in Switzerland alone.

Our collection comprises around two million individually prepared animals, representing some 70,000 species and types from 8,400 taxa. The beetles are the subject of extensive scientific work. They are also evidence of disappearing natural habitats and in some cases are even the last examples of extinct species.

The family of soldier beetles – Cantharidae and Malachiidae - are particularly well represented, featuring more than 85% of the species that are found worldwide. Of note among these two families of beetle is the large number of types from 2,400 and 1,700 taxa respectively.

The leading collectors include Fritz and Paul Sarasin, Jean Roux, Walter Wittmer, Willi Büttiker and Michel Brancucci. The curators that are currently in post also collect objects as part of their research projects.