Ever since the first important donations (malacological collection of Robert James Shuttleworth, 1874; entomological collection of Moritz Isenschmid, 1878) the collection of the Museum of Natural History Bern has continued to grow. Today it contains:

2.0 million insects and spiders (6000 drawers)

1.5 million molluscs (2000 drawers)


The specimens are revised by our own or external specialists and added to an electronic database. As of now, 432.000 insects and spiders, and 234.000 molluscs have been in inventoried.

The most numerous taxa are:

Lepidoptera, ca 1 million specimens

Coleoptera, ca 500.000 specimens

Hymenoptera, ca 250.000 specimens

Diptera, ca 200.000 specimens


Gastropoda (shells), ca 1.3 million specimens

Bivalvia (shells), ca 200.000 specimens


Important collections are:

Butterflies of Switzerland: collection of Karl Vorbrodt

Buprestidae: ca 16.000 specimens, collection of Hans Pochon

Carabidae, Nebriinae: ca 13.000 specimens of the genus Nebria

Chalcidoidea: ca 20.000 specimens

Apidae of Switzerland: collections of Emil Frey-Gessner and Felix Amiet



Revised collections are inventoried in an electronic database (ORACLE). All informations on the collection labels are registered.