The accumulation of specimens in any one museum is a result of geography, history, staff, and collectors. Despite the majority of species being found in the tropics of almost all of the world, Cicadellinae species described until the 1950’s had been by European workers. Much of this material had been deposited in major museums in central and northern Europe. During the study visit made by David Young in 1962-63 much of this was examined, lectotypes were designated, and he also loaned large numbers of unidentified specimens. As discussed above, Young did not give the details of the museums from where he studied specimens of the existing species. During the current imaging project (see below) we have accumulated information on over 30 institutions, which house significant collections in this group.

On completion of his monographs the specimens were returned to their original museums, but several representatives were retained for deposition in the NCSU collection, Raleigh. As a result, Raleigh has the largest number of species represented, followed closely by the BMNH, London and the USNM, Washington, D. C. Each of these institutions has around 50% of the world fauna represented. The BMNH is notable for both the number of Cicadellinae species and of historic types (Walker, Distant, and Fowler).


Table 1. Number of species in 5 largest Cicadellinae collections. Number of valid species: 2281 (Old World 640; New World 1641).


Total No. species (%)

No. & % Old World species

No. & % New World species

No. of 'Uniques

NCSU, Raleigh

1121 (49)

228 (36)

893 (54)


BMNH, London

1030 (45)

286 (44)

744 (45)


USNM, Washington

954 (42)

149 (23)

805 (49)


MMBC, Brno

715 (32)

126 (20)

589 (35)


NHRS, Stockholm

563 (28)

99 (15)

464 (28)



Other large museums have between 350 (NMW, HNHM) and 560 (NHRS) species but are very important because of the number of historic types present. The Bishop Museum, Honolulu has 75% of the species known from New Guinea (110 species: almost all endemic), although representatives are found in London (36%) and in Raleigh (51%). Table 2 gives information on the numbers of cicadelline species described by the 6 main authors and their presence in each of the 5 main collections. Perhaps not surprisingly the majority of species are found in the ‘home’ Institute (or place where the collection is deposited) of the author. This effect is especially seen in Fowler and Distant species, which are overwhelmingly represented in the BMNH, London. This may also be an effect of their working on a regional fauna. It is less obvious among Signoret species, perhaps because he was an early pioneer whose species are likely to be among the more commonly encountered and also because he described on a world basis. The NCSU, Raleigh also has the largest percentage of species described by David Young, although compared to other authors, Young species are represented in a lower percentage (see Table 2). Young did retain some representatives in NCSU when he described species, but he also studied specimens from many other institutions. Additionally, Young described many species based on a single specimen and he did deposit all his primary types in the USNM.


Table 2. Number of species (and % of total) from each of main authors in the 5 largest Cicadellinae collections.

Signoret 210
Walker 138
Fowler 113
Distant 104
Melichar 165
Young 745
NCSU, Raleigh
115 (55)
74 (54)
72 (64)
51 (49)
64 (39)
425 (57)
BMNH, London
109 (52)
123 (90)
107 (95)
100 (96)
39 (24)
261 (35)
USNM, Washington
93 (44)
52 (38)
58 (51)
30 (29)
62 (38)
383 (51)
MMBC, Brno
97 (46)
58 (42)
35 (31)
41 (39)
131 (79)
141 (19)
NHRS, Stockholm
103 (49)
57 (41)
21 (19)
31 (30)
39 (24)
148 (20)
(NMW, Vienna)
146 (70)
55 (33)


Interestingly only around 20 cicadelline species are found in all of the 10 largest collections. Even the top 7 contain only 86 species, but this number rises to 170 in the largest 5 institutions, and to 281 in the top 4. The overlap in the 3 largest institutions for this group is, however, considerable, and 468 species are found in all of these, and between NCSU and BMNH, 694 species are found in common. Naturally, in common with most insects, the majority of cicadelline species are known only from the type material, with 282 species found only in the largest 5 collections (with BMNH having 120 of these). Most institutions have numerous species unique to them.

Codens for Specimen Depositories

Abbreviations (Codens) for depositories for species follow Evenhuis, N. L. 2004a. The insect and spider collections of the world website: Http://

AMNH: American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

AMS: Australian Museum, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

BMNH: The Natural History Museum, London, UK.

BPBM: Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

CAS: California Academy of Science, San Francisco, California, USA.

GUGC: Guizhou University, Giuyang, China.

HNHM: Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary.

INHS: Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois, USA.

IRSNB: Institute Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium.

KUEC: Entomology Collection, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

MHNG: Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Geneva, Switzerland.

MLUH: Martin-Luther-Universität, Wissenschaftsbereich Zoologie,  Halle a. S. Germany.

MMBC: Moravské Zemské Muzeum [Moravian Museum], Brno, Czech Republic.

MNHN: Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

MNRJ: Universidade do Rio Janeiro, Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, São Cristavão, Brazil.

MTD: Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden, Germany.

MZPW: Polish Academy of Science, Museum of the Institute of Zoology, Warsaw, Poland.

NCSU: North Carolina State University Insect Collection, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

NHRS: Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.

NMPC: National Museum (Natural History), Prague, Czech Republic.

NMW: Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna, Austria.

NMWC: National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK.

NWAU: North-West Agricultural University, Yanglingzhen, Shaanxi, China.

OSU: Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

OUMNH: University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK

RMNH: Nationaal Natuurhistorische Museum (‘Naturalis’) [formerly Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie], Leiden, Netherlands.

USNM: National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA.[formerly, United States National Museum],
ZALF: Deutsches Entomologisches Institut im ZALF, Müncheburg, Germany.

ZFMK: Zoologische Forschungsinstitut und Museum ‘Alexander Koenig’ Bonn, Germany

ZIN: Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Science St. Petersberg, Russia

ZMHB: Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany.

ZMUH: Universität von Hamburg, Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum, Hamburg, Germany.