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The invertebrate collection comprises 5,800,000 specimens. Amongst the highlights of the collection are shrimps, crabs and lobsters from Southeast Asia, the Northeast Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. The important Parasite Collection Utrecht has been housed in Naturalis since 2006.

Shrimps, crabs and lobsters (decapods) from Southeast Asia, the Northeast Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea are among the highlights of the Crustacean collections. Curators, including L.B. Holthuis (1941-2008), have been actively involved in these groups since the museum was founded in 1820. During the last two decades research has focused on symbiontic shrimps.

The collection of stony corals (Scleractinia, Milleporidae and Stylasteridae) started to develop from the 1920's onwards. Most material is from Indonesia, based on collections by Boschma, Umbgrove and Verweij and later by Best, Moll and Hoeksema (1980-present). The  collection of Fungiidae may be considered as the most comprehensive worldwide. Also the collection of soft corals (Alcyonacaea) can be considered the largest in the world. Stiasny (gorgoneans) and Verseveldt (soft corals) are just two of the scientists who worked on these collections.

An important part of the Coelenterate collection consists of Hydrozoa, especially due to the scientific activities of professor W. Vervoort (1940-2010), former director of the museum.

Parasite collection Utrecht

Parasite Collection Utrecht

The collection of animal parasites collected by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the University Museum of Utrecht University was transferred to Naturalis Biodiversity Center in 2006. The collection has been restored. Parasites were transferred to new vials and made accessible by a database, which can be downloaded here. These activities were supported by a grant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Foundation for Academic Heritage (SAE) and the Mondriaan Foundation.

An article on the history of the Parasite Collection Utrecht is provided below (PDF).  

History of the Parasite Collection Utrecht (Cremers, Hendrikx, Pieterse)


The Excel database file of the parasite collection Utrecht can be downloaded using the following link. 

Parasite collection Utrecht


Some documentation concerning this database can be downloaded using the following link (PDF). 

Parasite collection Utrecht documentation


Christel Schollaardt

Collection managers


Jeroen Goud

Bram van der Bijl

Echinodermata, Tunicata & Vermes

Joke Bleeker

Crustacea, Arachnea, Myriapoda, Porifera, Bryozoa, Cnidaria & Brachiopoda

Karen van Dorp