The Herpetology collection currently contains
over 51,000 catalogued specimens of amphibians and reptiles. A
large proportion of the collection is composed of amphibians and
reptiles from the United States, and many of these species are
from the Southern Plains and Oklahoma. In addition, because of
the current curators’ work in Brazil and South America, large
numbers of amphibians and reptiles from the Amazon region of Brazil
and from other South American countries have been incorporated
into the collection. The collection contains specimens from a total
of 45 countries, with relative large numbers from Brazil, Mexico,
Ecuador, and Egypt. An early collection of specimens is from the
Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.
Much of the older Oklahoma material in the collection was a result of early expeditions organized by faculty members in the Department of Zoology and by the Oklahoma Biological Survey.
Many of these early collecting trips in Oklahoma were organized by Dr. A. I.
Ortenburger. Dr. Arthur N. Bragg was Curator of Amphibians for more than 30 years, and he led many of the early expeditions in Oklahoma and published many scientific papers on spadefoot toads. The herpetology collection is named in his honor. Dr. Charles C. Carpenter, currently Curator Emeritus, also conducted many field trips for the purpose of expanding the collection in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Herpetology Library is named in his honor.
The collection is housed in a modern state-of-the-art facility, which opened in 2000. Temperature, humidity, and light are closely controlled and pest management protocols are closely followed. Current growth of the collection is directed toward acquisition of specimens from South America, from re-surveys of selected areas in Oklahoma, and from research programs carried out by curators and graduate students.
Check out our Herpetology Blog!!
* For the foreseeable future, please contact collection manager, Jessa Watters, for all loans or data requests.
Dr. Janalee P. Caldwell, Curator Emeritus (Amphibians)
Dr. Laurie J. Vitt, Curator Emeritus (Reptiles)
Dr. Charles C. Carpenter, Curator Emeritus
Jessa L. Watters, Collection Manager *
Aaron Geheber , Graduate Research Assistant
Dr. Teresa C. Avila-Pires, Affiliated Research Associate
Dr. Guarino Rinaldi Colli, Affiliated Research Associate
Dr. William E. Cooper, Jr., Affiliated Research Associate
Dr. Daniel Oliveira Mesquita, Affiliated Research Associate
Dr. Donald B. Shepard, Affiliated Research Associate