Search the Herpetology Master Database
The University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History (UF-FLMNH) Herpetology collection dates back to 1862. Our collection is world-wide in scope, and at > 287,000 specimens/specimen lots it is ranked #1 largest in the southeastern United States and #8 largest in North America. The FLMNH is Florida's official natural history museum and serves as the State repository for voucher specimens (Florida Statute § 1004.56). Our specimens and associated data are used on a daily basis for teaching, research, and public inquiries.
Our collection consists of specimens (fluid preserved, cleared and stained, and skeletal), histological materials, 35-mm slides and photographs, digital images, and bioacoustical recordings. We also have ~2,000 tissue samples stored at -20ºC in the UF-FLMNH Genetic Resources Collection.
Data Request Policy and Terms
- We encourage you to search our NEW online Herpetology Master Database for our holdings.
- For conservation purposes we include locality data down to County level only and have rounded off coordinates to the nearest tenth place. If you require additional or more detailed data, requests must be submitted on institutional letterhead and include a brief description of research objectives, stating exactly what specimen data are being requested and why. Student requests must be countersigned by the major advisor or other professional staff member.
- Data will be used only for research and educational purposes. Commercial use for profit is prohibited without prior written permission from the Division of Herpetology.
- Data are for the individual researcher's one-time personal use as originally requested and must not be transferred to third parties without our consent.
- Specimen data, including specific collecting locality, GIS coordinates, date of collection, collector, or other associated data, will not be incorporated in its raw form in any publicly available database (e.g., web site, compact disc, hard copy) without prior written permission from the Division of Herpetology.
- Species identification should be confirmed by the researcher before publishing.
- When feasible, we request a hard copy or PDF of each resulting publication to be deposited in our library in the Division of Herpetology.
- UF is the official abbreviation for referencing specimens housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History and should be acknowledged in each publication.
- Specimens curated in the Division of Herpetology collection should be refeerred to as UF-Herpetology #, which distinguishes them from other research collections at UF.
- Requests for specimen data will be evaluated as time permits. Approval will be based on scientific merit and feasibility of the project, conservation status of taxa, approval of previous requests, qualifications of the investigator, approval of original collector(s), or any combination of these factors.
Loan Policy and Terms
- Loans of specimens are made only to institutions, not individuals, and cannot be transferred to another institution without prior written permission from the FLMNH.
- To avert the chance of specimen loss, no more than one-half of our total specimens of a species will be lent at a time. The remainder may be requested after the first loan has been returned.
- Under normal circumstances, loans will be sent by FedEx, UPS, or hand-carried.
- Very fragile specimens, special preparations, or parts of synoptic collections ordinarily will not be lent.
- For large loans or specimens that cannot be lent, we invite approved researchers to visit our collection and examine them at the FLMNH during our regular working hours, 08:00 to 17:00 Monday through Friday.
- Specimens will not be altered in any way without express written permission from the FLMNH. Requests for permission to conduct incisions or dissections are considered destructive to the specimen and not typically granted, especially on specimens that we have few of and/or do not anticipate obtaining more in the near future.
- All borrowed specimens must be stored according to professionally accepted standards such as 70% ethanol as indicated on the loan invoice (unless otherwise noted).
- Original labels or tags cannot be removed from the specimen without prior written permission from the FLMNH.
- Loans are for 6 months. Time extensions must be requested in writing before the loan termination date. If an extension request is not received by the FLMNH, a written inquiry will be sent on outstanding loans that have not been returned by their termination date. Failure to respond to FLMNH inquiries will result in an immediate termination of the loan and call-back of the specimens. Failure to respond also will result in our second inquiry being sent to the administrative head of the recipient institution.
- Specimens being returned should be carefully packed in the same manner in which they were received. At the very least, all domestic returns must be sent by FedEx, UPS, or other similar high quality carriers with tracking capability. All international loans must be returned by preferred priority carriers such as FedEx or UPS, or hand-carried.
You may also want to read the Florida Museum of Natural History's full collections policies as well.