Mushroom Coral (Fungiidae)

Glass sponge (Hexactinellida)

Sea urchin test (Echinoidea)

The Invertebrate Zoology collection at Bishop Museum contains over 35,000 cataloged specimen lots, thousands more uncurated lots, and is the repository for over 1000 type specimens of tropical Pacific marine invertebrates!

The IZ collection includes noteworthy material from the mesophotic zone, emerging volcanoes, submerged ancient coral reefs, and the largest marine monument in the world (Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument).

This is the most extensive collection of marine invertebrates in the Pacific region, and the only collections in the world devoted solely to marine invertebrates of the tropical Pacific, with the primary focus on the Hawaiian Archipelago.  The Invertebrate Zoology collection is an invaluable resource for understanding Pacific biogeography, evolution, and endemism in the Hawaiian Islands.

Invertebrate Zoology – FAQ

•Only collection in the world devoted solely to marine invertebrates of the Pacific Islands. Focus of the collection is primarily the Hawaiian Islands.

•Material in the collection represents over 100 years of scientific activity in the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific region, including specimens from a number of the earliest scientific expeditions in Hawai’i and the Pacific region: the Albatross (1888-1910), Tanager and Whippoorwill (1923-1924) and the Itasca (1935).

•Collection data provides a chronological history of species in Hawai’i, and therefore can be used to document the arrival of alien species to Hawai’i.

•Unique and important collections such as Hawaiian deepwater invertebrates from un­usual habitats including emerging volcanoes and submerged ancient coral reefs, shal­low-water reef invertebrates from the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and comprehensive collections of invertebrates, all of which are the basis for Bishop Museum’s scientific publication series “Reef and Shore Fauna of Hawaii”.

•Contains material collected and described by some of the most influential researchers of Hawaiian and Pacific biota, such as de Laubenfels (sponges), Vaughan (corals), Hartman and Brock (polychaetes), Devaney (echinoderms), and Edmondson (crustaceans), and from research organizations such as Hawaii Underwater Research Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Navy Ocean Science Center, University of Hawaii, and Enewetak Biological Laboratory.


Major taxonomic groups included in collection: Porifera (sponges), Cnidaria (corals, jellies, anemones), Crustacea (crabs, shrimp, lobsters), Echinodermata (sea stars, urchins, sea cucumbers), and Polychaeta (marine worms)

Major taxonomic group NOT included in collection: Mollusca (snails, clams, squid). To see Bishop Museum’s marine mollusc collection click here.

To request access to the Invertebrate Zoology collection, please fill out our online Natural Sciences Collections Access and Use Request Form

To request a loan, please fill out the Invertebrate Zoology Specimen Loan Request Form

Holly Bolick, Collections Manager
808-848-4156 |

Ken Longenecker, Associate Zoologist

Nicholas Woolvord, Collections Technician

To request a back of house collection tour please fill out our online Natural Sciences Collection Tour Request Form

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