The Invertebrate Zoology Collection at the KU Biodiversity Institute contains more than 2000 lots, including more than 150 lots of type specimens. A strength (with more than 1500 lots) is sea anemones (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria, Zoanthidea, and Corallimorpharia) from all over the world, with notable holdings from the Galapagos Islands and the tropical western Pacific.

Several hundred lots of medusozoans (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa, Staurozoa, Scyphozoa and Cubozoa) are from Japan, the United States, and Panama. Molluscs include 160 lots of Kansas mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida and Veneroida) and 85 lots of land snails from Kansas and Florida (Mollusca: Gastropoda). The nearly 200 lots of arthworms (Annelida: Oligochaeta) are from around the world, and include many type specimens.

The collection also includes nearly 100 lots of Kansas crayfish (Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Decapoda), 27 lots of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda), and a few lots of brittlestars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea), sea slugs (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Nudibranchia), scaphopods (Mollusca: Scaphopoda), and sponges (Porifera), plus 1 lot of Nematoda. Most specimens are wet-preserved and there are histological slides of some. Some specimen data can be accessed from the link below. Collections of Kansas molluscs and crustaceans made by or referred to by Leonard are in the U. S. National Museum of Natural History.

Specimens in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology are generally available for research or educational uses. Loans will be granted at the discretion of a curator to qualified professionals, to graduate students through their faculty advisor, and to other qualified borrowers.

If you wish to borrow specimens from our collection, please refer to our specimen loan procedure and policy, described below.

To initiate a loan, please send an email or written request to the curator, Kirsten Jensen. Please include the following information:

  • Borrower's name and contact details (including institutional mailing address, phone number, fax number and email address).
  • A list of the specimens requested, as well as preparation type and size desired.
  • A brief description of the research project or proposed use of specimens.

Loan Policy

1. Specimens are loaned only to bona-fide researchers for use in scientific investigation.

In the case of students, the material is loaned to the advisor. No specimens may be exchanged, loaned, or re-gifted to a third party, or cataloged into any collection without the express written permission of Division of Invertebrate Zoology.  Permission should also be requested in writing from Division of Invertebrate Zoology to convey specimens from one institution to another in the case of a researcher’s relocation.

2. No destructive sampling (clearing and staining, dissection, incision or removal of structures) may be undertaken without express written permission from Division of Invertebrate Zoology. Details of the nature and extent of destructive sampling and justification for it should accompany all requests for such work. A detailed report on specimens that were destructively sampled, including the investigator’s name and date of sampling, should be returned with the specimens. All materials resulting from such work (such as dissected pieces or histological blocks and slides) must be returned and should be associated clearly with the specimen from which they originated.

3. Alcoholic specimens are to remain in 70% ethanol. Formalin preserved specimens are to remain in 10% formalin. 

4. Two copies of the loan invoice are sent under separate cover, and one as a packing slip with the specimens. One copy of the loan invoice is to be signed, dated, and returned to Division of Invertebrate Zoology upon receipt of the specimens.

5. Type specimens are loaned for a period of three (3) months and other material for a period of six (6) months unless otherwise noted on the loan invoice. Specimens are to be returned to the division within this period using appropriate dangerous goods packing and shipping regulations. If work on the specimens is incomplete after the loan period, an extension may be requested in writing from Division of Invertebrate Zoology. All original labels must be returned with specimens. Every specimen lot identified by the borrower should bear a legible identification label.

6. The division must be notified of any publications resulting from research with specimens that are its property.