Ants, Wasps and Bees HYMENOPTERA
The order of Hymenoptera includes bees and wasps, as well as the morphologically very diverse and species-rich family of ants. The ant collection is one of the most internationally renowned thanks to the large number of species from all of the world's biogeographical regions. The Central European fauna is well represented among the other hymenopterous insects.
The Natural History Museum Basel was fortunate enough to acquire one of the most significant ant collections in the world, that of Felix Santschi, in 1947. The Swiss physician who spent most of his life in Tunisia observed and studied ants and described more than 2,000 new species, sub-species and forms, the primary types of which are represented in the collection. He built up the collection himself and exchanged certain specimens with other ant researchers (myrmecologists). Other important collectors included Theodor Steck and Cesare Baroni-Urbani.
All in all, the collection of hymenopterous insects comprises around 270,000 mainly dry mounted specimens from 13,000 species. Of these, around 2,100 taxa are represented by types.