The Orthoptera collection (EO) of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN - Paris)
The Orthoptera collection is part of the Polyneoptera collection of the MNHN, which includes Orthoptera, Dictyoptera, Dermaptera and Phasmatodea, together with a diverse assemblage of so-called “small orders” (Embioptera, Psocoptera, Plecoptera, Zoraptera, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera). The Polyneoptera collection has been assembled continuously since the beginning of the XIXth century, through the activity of many French and foreign Entomologists. At the beginning of 2012, it includes some 935 000 specimens, mostly dried and pinned, including 29 000 identified types, and incorporates regularly 2 to 3 000 specimens per year, including a variable number of new type specimens. Orthoptera represent more than 85 % of the Polyneoptera collection.
The MNHN Orthoptera collection is particularly rich for Acridoidea originating from the Neotropics, French-speaking Africa and Madagascar
, but also for Eumastacoidea and Gryllidea from the whole World. The best represented geographic regions are the Neotropics, Africa, Madagascar
and New Caledonia
. Occasional research programs and biological surveys lead to the rapid increase in the Collection richness for diversity hot spots (Vanuatu
, the Comoros
, MADANG expedition in New Guinea
, etc, not mentioning French Guyana
and the French West Indies).
Since several tens of years, the Orthoptera collections has been enriched by the research activities performed at the MNHN for both Caelifera and Ensifera. These include intensive sampling in the Tropics, specimen identifications, taxa descriptions, and documentation of taxa biological attributes and behaviours. The main research axes have been the ecology and evolution of Orthopteran communities, mostly in the perspective of forest regeneration and fragmentation, phylogenetic analyses, and the evolution of biological attributes (invasive tendencies, diet and distributions in Caelifera, habitats and communication modalities in Ensifera).
Recent studies in the evolution of acoustic communication contributes to the development of the MNHN Sound Library, which associates preferentially acoustic data with recorded specimens preserved in MNHN collections.
The collection is progressively computerized. Specimens are photographed by S. Poulain and G. Lecorvec.