The entomological collection is the biggest of the
collections in the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History
in Tel Aviv University. It currently holds more than
2 million specimens on pins, microscope slides and in
ethanol, as well as a small collection of live insects and
other arthropods. The entomology team includes Dr. Netta Dorchin as the chief curator, Dr. Moshe Guershon as the staff manager, and more than 20 associate curators, collection managers, postdocs and graduate students, who handle the day-to-day tasks in the collection and base their research on it. Each of our collection managers is responsible for one or several insect groups and handles all maintenance and scientific activities associated with those groups (e.g., integration of newly collected material, loan processing, hosting visiting scientists etc.).
Our collection managers are expert taxonomists in their respective groups and routinely provide identification services for government agencies, commercial companies, scientists, graduate students and private people. Many of them dedicate a lot of time to fieldwork all over the country as well as in different parts of the world. As a result, the collection represents Israel's insect fauna, estimated at 20,000 species (many of which still undescribed) but also contains important collections from other parts of the world - in particular tropical Africa.
The mission of the entomology team is to maintain Israel's national collection of insects and make it available for study by researchers from Israel and elsewhere. Over the years, we absorbed numerous 'orphan' collections from other academic and governmental institutions, museums and private collectors and have integrated them into the national collection to make them available for study. We currently work on databasing the collection and are busy arranging it and settling into the new building of the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, where we moved in the summer of 2018.
Visit the Arthropod gallery in the museum, which offers live exhibits and fascinating information on the most successful group of living organisms!
The Insect Collection
From left: Zohar Yanai, Liz Morgulis, Levona Bodner, Einat Shachar, Ariella Charvet, Noa Keidar,
Moshe Guershon, Tanya Novoselski, Tirza Stern, Leonid Friedman, Netta Dorchin, Amnon Freidberg, Danny Simon, Avi Keysary, Zoya Yefremova, Vasiliy Kravchenko, Vladimir Chikatunov, Wolf Kuslitzky,
Alex Shlagman, Armin Ionescu, Sergei Zonstein, Mike Mostovski, Gidi Pisanty, David Furth, Oz Rittner