Amphibian & Reptile Collections

Science Center Objects

The Herpetology Project, the most recent addition to the Unit, originated in 1972. Roy W. McDiarmid is the Project Leader. The North American collection of reptiles and amphibians contains about 390,900 specimens. This portion of the National Collection is completely computerized; electronic copies on diskette or compact disks, or hard copy reports can be produced in response to requests for information about holdings. The collection is represented primarily by alcohol-preserved specimens, but also includes an extensive skeleton collection (7,645 specimens) as well as ancillary collections of formalin-preserved amphibian larvae (4,632 specimens), cleared and stained specimens (2,638), and smaller collections of histological microscope slides, tapes of vocalizations, and color transparencies of live animals. The type collection contains 12,407 specimens of which about 62% are from North America.