Research Collections of the Zoological Institute RAS — Hymenoptera

Русский / English

The Hymenoptera collection of the Zoological institute RAS is one of the largest in the world and the greatest by the representation of the faunas of the Russia and Middle Asia. The total number of collection specimens is not less than 4.5 millions examples.

The collectings of insects in the middle and second half of XIX century made by A.K. Becker, D.K. Glasunov, G.F. Christoph, E.A. Eversmann, N.A. Zarudny. V.E. Yakovlev and G.G. Jacobson, expeditions by N.M. Przhevalskiy, P.K. Kozlov, G.N. Potanin, A.P. Fedchenko, A.P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskiy etc. served as the beginning of the collection formation. In the end of XIX century on the basis of these materials the outstanding Russian entomologists F.F. Morawitz, E.A. Eversmann and A.P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskiy published the first important taxonomical works with descriptions of a considerable number of species new for science. And even now these unique collection material rest still not completely investigated for some groups of Hymenoptera.

In the beginning of XX century, further replenishment of the collection was by the members of Hymenoptera department and by researchers from other departments and Institutions collaborated with the Zoological Institute (A.V. Shestakov, A.S. Skorikov, V.V. Gussakovskiy, V.V. Popov, M.N. Nikol'skaya, N.A. Telenga, A.N. Kirichenko etc.). Additionally, the collections of many other entomologists, first of all N.R. Kokujev, S.I. Malyshev, N.F. Meier, L.M. Volman, V.I. Belizin, were later passed in the Zoological Institute.

Intensive collectings of insects made in numerous expeditions leading by the Zoological Institute in the post-war period (1950s–1960s years) in various regions of the USSR and Mongolia currently form the core of the Hymenoptera collection. These were first of all the collecting material of the department members V.V. Popov, V.P. Rudolf, A.A. Ponomareva, M.N. Nikol'skaya, V.I. Tobias, V.A. Trjapitzin, Yu.A. Pesenko, E.S. Sugonyaev, M.A. Kozlov, as well as the general entomological collections of numerous entomologists of the Zoological Institute. Recently, the Hymenoptera collection was being intensively supplemented due to numerous field works performed by D.R. Kasparyan, S.A. Belokobylskij and other current members of Hymenoptera department and not only in the limits of the USSR territory but also in foreign trips. Essential part of material (including type specimens) have been received in exchange from other zoological collections.

The main taxonomic part of the collection includes more than 50000 species, the vast majority of which represents the taxa of the Palaearctic fauna. Identified specimens of hymenopterans are set up in systematic order in the reference and fundamental collection parts occupying more than 5000 entomological boxes and keeping in 300 special cupboards in the Laboratory wing of the Institute building; a small part of species (mainly micro-Hymenoptera) is preserved in the alcohol. A part of unsorted and indeterminate specimens is preserved on the cotton layers in 500 hermetic plastic boxes.

The value of the collection is estimated not only by the huge taxonomical diversity of its specimens, but also by presence of the numerous type specimens of the species described by the eminent hymenopterists of the past and present, F.F. Morawitz, , E.A. Eversmann, A.P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskiy, H. Friese, P. Blüthgen, V.V. Gussakovskiy, A.V. Shestakov, A.S. Skorikov, N.A. Meier, N.A. Telenga, M.N. Nikol'skaya, D.M. Steinberg, V.V. Popov, V.I. Belizin, A.Z. Osychnyuk, V.I. Tobias, V.A. Trjapitzin, K. Warncke, H. Wolf, V.L. Kazenas, K.A. Dzhanokmen, Yu.A. Pesenko, E.S. Sugonyaev, M.A.Kozlov and many others, as well as by the current members of the department (D.R. Kasparyan, S.A. Belokobylskij, Yu.V. Astafurova, A.I. Khalaim, E.V. Tselikh).


Collection Curator

Dr. Sergey Belokobylskij, Principal Researcher of the Laboratory of Insect Taxonomy

Tel.: +7 (812) 328-12-12, ext. 236
Hymenoptera Department, Laboratory of Insect Taxonomy, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences
199034, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya nab., 1


Photos of specimens and related materials made by Yu.V. Astafurova, Yu.N. Danilov, K.I. Fadeev, P. Rosa, K.G. Samartsev.