Illinois Natural History Survey - Mollusk Collection (INHS-MOLLUSK)

The Illinois Natural History Survey Mollusk Collection contains over 190,000 catalogued specimens in nearly 50,000 lots, most of which were collected in Illinois and the southeastern United States. The collection is about 95% freshwater bivalves and gastropods (mussels, fingernail clams, and snails), 1% land snails and 4% marine gastropods, almost all of which are cones. Most of the specimens were collected as a result of various faunal surveys conducted by INHS biologists from the late 1800's until the present. The early collections were made by such naturalists as John Wesley Powell, Robert Kennicott, Richard E. Call, William A. Nason, Frank C. Baker, Robert E. Richardson, and Charles A. Hart. The largest and best documented collection of landsnails at the INHS was compiled by Thural D. Foster and organized by Frank C. Baker as part of his study on the "Landsnails of Illinois" published in 1939. The Baker snail collection numbers 1632 lots containing 11,970 specimens. The University of Illinois Museum of Natural History Collection contains over 250,000 catalogued specimens in nearly 32,000 lots, and is global in scope with significant holdings of freshwater and terrestrial species from North and Central America. The collection is about 35% freshwater bivalves and gastropods, 35% land snails and 30% marine bivalves and gastropods. Together the collections have over 80,000 lots (58,000 FW, 12,000 marine & and 10,000 landsnails) and nearly 450,000 specimens. Over 135 countries are represented, but the collection is especially strong in freshwater mollusks from the Midwest and Southeastern United States and land snails from Southwestern United States and Central America. Over 40,000 soft parts of more than 200 species have been preserved (approximately half in ethanol) and available for study. All specimens that can be geo-referenced have been assigned latitude and longitudinal coordinates.
Contact: Kevin S. Cummings (ksc@inhs.illinois.edu)
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Data snapshot of local collection database
Last Update: 31 October 2017
Collection Statistics:
  • 87509 specimen records
  • 78372 (90%) georeferenced
  • 312 families
  • 796 genera
  • 2197 species
Extra Statistics