The Southeastern Louisiana University Vertebrate Museum is a predominantly wet collection, housing jars of preserved fishes, reptiles, and amphibians. The collection is divided into 3 sections: Ichthyology, Herpetology, and Mammalogy/Ornithology.

Ichthyology Collection

The collection of fishes is the largest and fastest growing of the collections in the SLU Vertebrate Museum. We have over 7,000 lots of fishes, containing some 85,000 specimens. Our holdings are rich in native species from southern Louisiana (particularly the Lake Pontchartrain Basin) and adjacent regions. Additionally, we have large, recent collections of freshwater fishes from Mexico.

In addition to the fluid specimens, we have over 2,000 archived tissue samples from fishes for genetic analyses. Most of the tissue samples have corresponding voucher specimens archived in the collection.


Herpetology Collection

The majority of the collection is comprised of specimens from the southern United States, particularly southern Louisiana. We also have moderately large holdings of specimens from the western United States and the West Indies.

In addition to fluid specimens, we have a collection of amphibian and reptile tissue samples for genetic analyses. Most of these tissue samples have corresponding voucher specimens in the fluid collection. We also have a histological (slide) collection for studies of reproductive anatomy in amphibians and reptiles.

The museum is also home to the Harold A. Dundee Herpetological Library, a collection of thousands of biological books, journals, and reprints, particularly herpetological texts.

Mammalogy/Ornithology Collection

The museum maintains a well-kept collection of birds and mammal skins, almost exclusively from the local area. With no active mammalogist or ornithologist researchers at Southeastern, these collections have received little growth since the 1970's. We have several hundred specimens, and corresponding skulls for most of the mammal skins.


For inquiries into our holdings, see the Loans page.

Natural history museum digitization projects: