Family Cypraeidae, Notocypraea comptonii, Cowrie. Aperture (opening) view of shell. NMV F 180030.
The primary purpose of the Marine Invertebrate Collection at Museum Victoria is to document the marine invertebrate fauna of Victoria and southern Australia and to understand its national and international significance. The collection is critical in documenting biodiversity for key regions and environments with collections from quantitative surveys, such as those of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, the Australian continental shelf and slope, and seamount.
The marine invertebrate collection dates back to the 1850s, the era of the Museum's founding director, Frederick McCoy, who acquired important international reference collections of marine invertebrates by Adams, Cuming and Reeve, and the first collections of local mollusc collections by Geale and Cumming made in the late 1800s. Other important acquisitions during this era include material collected by the first major faunal survey of Port Phillip Bay. Much of the Collection's early material is of great historic as well as biological significance.
The collection continues to grow today, and in recent years has begun to contribute to the Museum's growing tissue collection. Images of living invertebrates, many of which resulted in collection specimens, began with a focus on local crustaceans through then-Curator Gary Poore and volunteer photographer Michael Marmach in the 1990s and more recently on a larger scale through the efforts of other Curators and the Marine Research Group.