General Entomology Collection

General

The General Entomology Collection housed at the museum consists of all insect orders, except Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. The collection is relatively small compared to that of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera with a total number of approximately 130,000 specimens, with the most significant holdings being of Hymenoptera Apocrita, Orthoptera and Neuroptera.

History

The early growth of the collection, which then included Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, was mostly due to collecting trips made by individuals like Dr H. G. Breijer and Mr C.J. Swierstra. One of the most significant acquisitions to the collection was the collection of Hymenoptera Apocrita sold to the museum by Dr Brauns of Willowmore for the amount of £1500. The Brauns collection boasts over 10,600 species represented by about 70 000 specimens and approximately 900 types.

The collection had some notable moments throughout its existence. Dr E.C.G. Pinhey, who briefly worked at the then Transvaal Museum in 1948, produced a monograph on Southern African Dragonflies (Transvaal Museum Memoir No. 5). The Odonata collection received a major boost in the form of a donation by Prof. B.I. Balinsky of his private collection, and as a token of gratitude an Associate Membership of the Museum was extended to him in 1984.

After the death of Lepidopterist Dr Georges van Son in 1967, the General Entomology collection was separated from Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. After the split, the first curators organised an exchange with the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg which saw the greater part of the Diptera material go to Natal, with the important butterfly collection of K. M. Pennington being received by the Transvaal Museum. In 1975 Dr M.J. Scoble, until recently Keeper of Entomology at the Natural History Museum, London, was appointed curator of General Entomology. The position was filled by Dr R. B. Toms in 1984, who concentrated on Orthoptera, with special emphasis on sound communication of crickets and who made over a thousand recordings that can be associated with specimens in the collection.

To visit or study the collection please contact Dr Martin Kruger (kruger@ditsong.org.za)

Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural HistoryThe Ditsong National Museum of Natural History formerly known as the Transvaal Museum was founded as the Staatsmuseum of the ZAR on the 1st of December 1892.

And it has, since then acted as custodian and documentation centre of South Africa’s natural heritage.The Museum’s collections and exhibits include hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and associated fauna, including Mrs Ples [the nickname attributed to a fossil skull believed to represent a distant relative of all humankind]; fossils, skeletons, skins and mounted specimens of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals. On these collections are based the Museum’s educational programmes, research is done and information is communicated to all people of South Africa as well as to the international community.

The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History is the only natural history museum in Gauteng and one of the largest in South Africa. It is unique in that it is the only institute in South Africa that offers the local, national and international community the opportunity to view its collections including original fossil material usually denied the public.

Tours


Educational Programmes

A comprehensive series of programmes and conducted tours is offered to schools, students and tourists in various South African languages. All education programmes are aligned to CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement). Booking is essential to participate in these activities. Please use e-mail to contact us while our phone system is being upgraded – bongi@ditsong.org.za.

Discovery Centre

A hands-on activity centre, where the five human senses are used to discover the wonders of nature, offering an invaluable educational adventure. It affords easy access for wheelchairs and display texts are also transcribed in Braille. This centre is ideal for younger learners that are eager to explore with their hands.

Public Programmes

Throughout the year talks are held at the Museum by various established researchers and scientists. Please check back regularly with the “Upcoming events” page or contact the Public Programmes Department.

Museum View


Publications


The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History researchers, as well as scientists from other institutions doing research can submit scientific papers to the annals. The major publications are the Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History and the Monograph series.

The Museum has exchange agreements with a large number of scientific institutions, both abroad and in South Africa and 342 copies of the Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History and 280 copies of the Monographs of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History are distributed annually. Up to 2010 the annals were known as the Annals of the Transvaal Museum. For quality control of documents, articles, news releases and reports, please contact: Dr Martin Krüger at kruger@ditsong.org.za

 Admission Fees


Prices for Adults, Learners, Senior Citizens and Discovery Centre

ADMISSION FEES:

Adults
R35.00 p/p
Learners and Children
R20.00 p/p
SA Senior Citizens
R15.00 p/p
Students
R20.00 p/p
Educators
R20.00 p/p
Discovery Centre
R25.00 p/p
Behind the scenes tour
R50.00 p/p
Night tour
R100.00 p/p
Discovery + Museum
R40.00 p/p
Guided tour
Additional R5 to approporiate tariff

Contact Information


Physical Address:
432 Paul Kruger Street Pretoria 0001

GPS Coordinates:
S 25° 45’ 11.2” E 28° 11’ 21.6”

Contact numbers:
012 322 7632
012 000 0040 – temporarily out of service

Admission: Daily:
08:00 – 16:00
(Except Christmas Day and Good Friday)

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