Zoological collections

The Luomus zoological collections comprise some 10 million specimens, mostly of insects. The collections are primarily used for taxonomic and systematic research in Finland and abroad. They are also important for species monitoring and enable historical and contemporary biodiversity research.

The collections are based on the animal specimens donated to the University of Helsinki in 1858 by the Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica. Today, the collections grow mostly through research projects and donations. You can explore some of the most significant collections here.

Entomological collections

Luomus holds one of Europe’s largest entomological collections, comprising over nine million insect specimens and some 45,000 type specimens of immense scientific value. The largest groups in the collections consist of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera, with plenty of Diptera included as well. Just under half of all the insects have been collected from Finland. The majority of the specimens are pinned, but small and soft-bodied insects, in particular, have been preserved in ethanol or mounted on glass slides.

You can explore our digitised specimens on the laji.fi website. Explore the species checklists of specimens yet to be digitised. As a researcher, the best way to obtain information on specimens is to contact the relevant collection manager.

Other invertebrates

The invertebrate collections cover about 400,000 labelled specimen batches, each usually comprising several specimens. Most specimens have been preserved in alcohol. The collections focus on Finnish animals. Best represented are arachnids, acarids, molluscs (gastropods and clams), oligochaetes and turbellarians.

Most of the specimens have been digitised and can be viewed on the laji.fi website.

Vertebrate collections

The vertebrate collections comprise some 140,000 scientific specimens. Mammals and birds are usually represented as skins and skeletons, whereas fish, amphibians and reptiles are mostly preserved in ethanol. As a rule, tissue samples are taken of vertebrates for inclusion in the Luomus genomic resources collections. Luomus also holds a historically valuable collection of bird eggs. Most of the specimens are from Finland, although many items have also been collected from abroad.

Almost all of the specimens have been digitised and can be explored on the laji.fi website.