The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection houses more than 45,000 lots, containing more than 250,000 specimens. This material represents the collecting efforts of Scripps scientists, scientists from other institutions, and donations from private collectors.
While the holdings are worldwide in extent, they are primarily from the eastern Pacific. The Collection has considerable material from Pacific deep sea (>1,000m) locations, including the Tonga and Mariana Trenches. Samples were collected with a variety of devices from intertidal hand collecting and SCUBA to rock dredges and trawls.
The major holdings of the collection are in mollusks and crustaceans, including an extensive barnacle collection from worldwide locations. The Collection contains over 150 type lots used in species descriptions. About 40,000 lots are cataloged with 33,000+ entries existing in an electronic database. The Collection houses a systematic reference library and reprint collection.
The Collection supports scientific research by providing specimens for study on the taxonomy, evolution, and ecology of benthic invertebrates. Collection material are used to support educational programs at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, graduate courses, and research projects at Scripps. Specimens are available for examination at Scripps and for loan to researchers at recognized institutions, consistent with our loan policies.
The Collection serves as a repository for specimens collected by Scripps scientists including material properly preserved for genomic studies. Collection materials are used to support educational programs at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The Oceanographic Collections, including the Benthic Invertebrate Collection, also support graduate courses and research at Scripps.