Ant Exhibition at

Museum of Natural History Vienna

This page shows a part of the ant exhibition and several photos relating to the Museum of Natural History in Vienna.

Some of descriptions were referred from the English version of "Short Guide", which is available at the museum shop.


Related Links

2. Building and Map

The Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Fine Arts were designed by Gottfried Semper and Carl Hasenauer and are among the most representative buildings of historicism in Austria. Construction of the Museum of Natural History began in 1871. The building, which measures 170 by 70 meters, consists of two large inner courtyards surrounded by workrooms and rooms housing the collections. It was completed on the outside in 1881.

The oil painting (Messmer and Kohl, 1773), on the main stairwell of the Museum of Natural History, shows Emperor Frances I (1792-1835), founder of Vienna's natural history collection, along with the Museum's first director Johann v. Baillou (second from the left) and other scholars.

On the lower exhibition floor the spectrum ranges from the realm of the inanimate (Department of Mineralogy and Petrography, rooms 1-5), the sediments and traces of life from past geological ages (Department of Geology and Paleontology, rooms 6-10). to the archaeological artefacts of prehistoric man (Department of Prehistory, rooms 11-15) and the many faces of man (Department of Anthropology, rooms 16-17). The upper level is devoted to the world of plants (Department of Botany, room 21) and the great variety of forms found in the animal kingdom (Zoological Department, rooms 22-39).


3. Exhibition of Lower Organisms (Protozoa)

At room 22, photographs and models are used to introduce the minute protozoan (Cabinets 1 and 2) Each of these animals consists of only a single cell. Internally they bear so-called organelles (rather than organs in the strict sense) which carry out all life functions such as ingestion, locomotion, reproduction etc. Many protozoan are dangerous parasites (e.g. Entoamoeba historica, the cause of amoebic dysentery).


4. Glass cases for Ant Exhibition

There are 224 glass cases in the middle of the room 24 introduce the different insect orders with a selection of approximately 50,000 individual specimens belonging to about 10,000 species; this represents a mere 1% of all known insect species! With a total of more than one million species, the insects are the largest class of animals and make up more than 75% of all existing species. Only a few of the many specimens exhibited can be mentioned here.

About 80 species are exhibited in the glass case 92b and 93a (lower left and upper right). Each species are represented by several deferent shapes of specimens, corresponding to the caste system or sexual differences.
A view of the glass case 93a.


5. Individual Ant Preparation

Formica sanguinea Latr.

Formica rufa L.

Myrmecocystus viaticus Fabr.

Colobopis lateralis Olivier

Formica cinerra Mayr.

Polyergus rufescens Latr.

Camponotus aethiops Latr.

Camponotus vagus Scopoli

Camponotus marginatus Latr.

Pheidole fimbriata Roger

Pheidole auropillosa Mayr

Aphaenogaster structor Latr.

Pogonomyrmex barbatus Smith

Leptothorax acervorum Fabr.

Tetramorium caespitum L.

Liometopom microcephalum Panz.

Dolichoderus attelaboides Fabr.

Dolichoderus quadripunctatus L.


6. Botanical Garden (The Palm House)

The Palm House, located at the garden of Schönbrunn Palace (Southern West part of Vienna), is the largest glass-house in Europe with its impressive view of seemingly weightless architectonic interplay of glass and iron. The three spacious pavilions, in each of which a different climatic zone has been created, contain rare plants from all over the world. It was commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph I and completed from plans by the court architect F. v. Segenschmid in 1882.



This page was edited by Japanese Ants Database Group.
Copyright of Photos: Akira Kihara, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Biology, Hosei University
Fujimi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102, JAPAN