Australian Museum Herpetology Collection

The Australian Museum has a large and comprehensive collection of research specimens from throughout Australia and the Pacific region.

Southern Gastric-brooding Frog Specimens

Southern Gastric-brooding Frog Specimens
Photographer: Jodi Rowley © Australian Museum

The Australian Museum Herpetology collection contains most known Australian species of amphibian and reptile. Reptiles are the major group represented - more than two thirds of the total collection. Lizards make up around two thirds of all reptiles, a feature that reflects the richness (in terms of number of species) of this group of reptiles. Lizards from northern and eastern Australia and the Pacific Islands are particularly well represented, as this group has been the focus of research interests at various times throughout the history of the Herpetology section. There are also significant collections of sea snakes and freshwater turtles. The amphibian collection is extensive in its coverage of species at both at a national and a broader Australasian level, and contains representatives of frog species that are now extinct. We also have an extensive type collection

At a regional level the collection is primarily Australian based with over a third of the collection from New South Wales. Major strengths outside of New South Wales include, collections from biodiversity 'hotspots' in northern Australia such as the Kimberly region of north-western Western Australia, the Alligator Rivers region (Kakadu) of the Northern Territory; Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait Islands. There are also extensive collections from elsewhere in the Pacific region, most notably from New Guinea and New Caledonia, and from Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam.

Associated with the specimen collection is an extensive collection of tissue samples. Its content has a strong New South Wales bias, but also contains samples from northern Australia, New Guinea, the south-west Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. 


Search our collections

Search our collections through the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums (OZCAM).


Access to our collections

All requests to visit the Herpetology collections at the Australian Museum or borrow specimens from the amphibian and reptile collections must be made via email to Dr Jodi Rowley



Requests for genetic material from amphibians and reptiles should be made via email to Before requesting genetic material, please read the Guidelines for requesting a terrestrial vertebrate genetic sample.



For general amphibian and reptile enquiries, please get in touch with our Search & Discover team. For collections related enquiries, please contact Dr Jodi Rowley.

Dr Jodi Rowley , Curator, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology
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