Invertebrate Zoology main content.

Invertebrate Zoology

Norman I. Platnick, In Memoriam 1951-2020  (pdf)

The Division of Invertebrate Zoology remains closed to the public, visitors to the collections & laboratories, and staff to maintain health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Incoming and outgoing loans have been suspended through approximately September 1, 2020 depending on the COVID-19 situation. Do not ship collections back or return specimen loans at this time. Researchers may continue to access collections information online, as well as news and future announcements via the AMNH public website at

Welcome to the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. The staff in Invertebrate Zoology study and archive the living non-vertebrate animals, which make up 95% of all animal species.

The Division research collections contain more than 24 million specimens, representing ~500,000 species. Most of these specimens are terrestrial arthropods, but there are large collections of marine and freshwater invertebrates. Strengths of the collections reflect the research of current and past curators: Arachnids (especially spiders and scorpions), aculeate (sting-bearing) Hymenoptera (including bees, wasps and ants), gall wasps (Cynipoidea), certain Diptera (especially Drosophilidae, Syrphidae and Tachinidae), HemipteraIsoptera (termites) and their symbiotic protists, macro-Lepidoptera (particularly of the New World), rove beetles (Staphylinidae), the primitively wingless insects (bristletails and silverfish), marine Mollusca, and fossils in amber. Research centers around field exploration, the collections, and laboratory studies using morphology and DNA sequences to examine the evolutionary relationships of a spectrum of groups from species to phyla.

Returning a loan? Send to:

[recipient’s name]
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192 USA

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