Brightly colored sea anemone amongst corals.
Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria. As cnidarians, sea anemones are related to corals and jellyfish.
Courtesy of B. Spragg/Wikimedia Commons

For loan and visitation requests, please complete the Loan/Visitation Request Form. Please submit visitation requests at least two weeks prior to your anticipated arrival date.

Donors, please refer to the Invertebrate Zoology policies regarding the deposition of material.

Check out our NSF-funded DigIn[vertebrates) project to image and database our marine invertebrate collection!

Curator-in-ChargeDr. Estefania-Rodriguez ([email protected]) 

Collections Assistant: Lily Berniker

Type Collection

IMLS Dry Coral Collection Rehousing Project

The Cnidaria collection at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) includes approximately 4,500 catalogued lots that represent both main cnidarian clades (Anthozoa and Medusozoa). The collection includes slides and dry and fluid-preserved specimens. In 2002, the collection was moved to the Starr Natural Sciences building, where specimens are stored in state-of-the-art cabinetry and a climate-controlled environment to ensure collections longevity. Tissue for molecular studies is kept in freezers.

The cnidarian type collection at the AMNH is modest in terms of numbers (50 type-material lots). However, it includes relevant and charismatic taxa; examples of this are several anthozoan types of A.E. Verrill. Particular strengths of the collection are historical in nature and include collections of J.D. Dana and A.E. Verrill (north American east coast) and T.T. Dranga (Hawaii), and expedition collections such as the marine abyssal material collected by the research vessel "Vema" (1955-1962). A relatively large part of the collection remains unidentified.

Currently, the AMNH Cnidaria collection is in expansion. An active research program in sea anemones (Actiniaria) headed by the curator in charge Dr. Estefania Rodriguez is expected to result in a fast growing of the type, voucher and DNA tissue collections.