The Museum's collection of amphibians and reptiles contains approximately 190,000 catalogued specimens from around the globe. This includes approximately 3,600 skeletal preparations and 545 cleared and stained specimens. Other special collections include a growing frozen tissue collection, digital and slide photographs, histology slides, and gut contents from a number of species. The associated section library includes a large collection of herpetological reprints.
The collection is especially strong in its holdings from the southwestern U.S., Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, eastern and southern Africa, and Australia. The collection contains material formerly in the collections of the University of Southern California, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at Irvine, California State University, Long Beach, and California State University, Fullerton. An especially important contribution is the Costa Rican Expedition (CRE) Reptile and Amphibian Collection, which includes more than 20,000 specimens collected from a variety of localities in Costa Rica throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s by Dr. Jay Savage and colleagues.
The collection continues to grow in line with the research interests of the Section staff and Research Associates as well as with incorporation of donated material. If you are interested in donating material, please see our specimen donation information on the FAQ page.
Loans of tissues or preserved specimens are made to qualified researchers engaged in scientific investigations. For information on searching the collection and our loan policy, please see the Collection page.
For more information, please check out the staff biographies.
Dr. Greg Pauly, Associate Curator
Greg Pauly studies the natural history, evolution, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. His research interests include phylogenetics, systematics, conservation genetics, the evolution of mating signals in frogs, and the impacts of urbanization on reptiles and amphibians. You can learn more about his research here.
Neftali Camacho, Collections Manager
Neftali Camacho specializes on the herpetofauna of California and the care of all types of vertebrate collections. He maintains the Ichthyology and Herpetology frozen tissue collections.
The Herpetology Section benefits from the hard work of a number of dedicated volunteers, who work alongside research staff on numerous aspects of specimen preparation and collection care. If you are interested in volunteering in the section or elsewhere in the museum, see the Volunteer page. For more information about volunteering at the Museum contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (213) 763-3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and for additional information about volunteering in Herpetology, contact Neftali Camacho (e-mail: email@example.com).