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The Department of Herpetology houses one of the most important collections of reptiles and amphibians, with particular strengths in the fauna of Mexico, Panama, much of South America, Africa, Madagascar, Pakistan, China, New Guinea, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Moreover, the collection is the repository for the specimens of a number of historically important herpetologists, figures such as Prince Maximilian von Wied-Neuwied, E.D. Cope, E.R. Dunn, C.H. Pope, Al Schwartz, and Sherman Minton.

Since its founding, the department has also been a major center for research in herpetology. Department staff and affiliated scientists have active collection-based research programs in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Our Collections

The AMNH collection of amphibians and reptiles ranks among the world's largest herpetological collections. The separately cataloged collections of amphibians and reptiles total more than 351,000 specimens.

Requesting Data

How to request detailed information from our collections database.

Collections Database

Search for basic information about the holdings of the collection. Search for genus, species, country, state, collector, or type of preparation.

Obtaining Loans

Requirements for requesting a loan of specimens (including tissues)


Datasets for published studies by department staff, along with the associated publications are available here for download. Descriptions of datasets and formats for each study are provided in the associated readme files.


Staff listing for the Department of Herpetology.

More About the Department

Herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History has its roots in the Golden Age of global expeditionary biology and continues as one of the world's foremost centers of herpetological research.

Catalogues of the Pleurodont Iguanian Families

In the 1950's Richard Etheridge and Ernest Williams began constructing a taxonomic catalogue of the Iguanidae as it was known at the time, the intention being to publish this work in the series Das Tierreich.

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