Marine invertebrates

Comprehensive collections of mainly marine animals include most of the invertebrates found off our coast. Coverage extends into Angola and Mozambique and the Southern Ocean.

UCT Ecological Survey Collection

This comprehensive collection of southern African marine animals resulting from the Ecological Surveys of the University of Cape Town is now housed in the Marine Biology Collection

Crustacean Collections

Land crab

Iziko South African Museum houses the most important crustacean (crabs, lobsters, shrimps, barnacles) collection in South Africa. Significant past contributions were made by K.H. Barnard, J.R. Grindley and B.F. Kensley (Crustacea).

Cephalopod Collection


This is the largest Cephalopod (squid, cuttlefish, octopus) wet collection in the Southern Hemisphere, established primarily by M.A. Roeleveld-Compagno. Specimens represent global distributions. There is also a very comprehensive collection of specimens of giant squid (Architeuthis).


Shelled Mollusc Collection


This collection of southern African species is the second largest mollusc collection in southern Africa. Significant additions were made in the past by K.H. Barnard, B.F. Kensley and T.M. Gosliner

J.H. Day Polychaete Collection

This collection assembled by Prof. Day, an expert in polychaete biology, is probably the largest and most comprehensive for southern Africa.

Hydroid Collection

This comprehensive collection was largely assembled by Dr N. Millard, an expert on hydroids, while she was at the University of Cape Town and studied further after she joined the then South African Museum.