The Entomology and Collembola Collections at the South Australian Museum are comprised of animals in the classes Insecta (insects) and Collembola (more commonly referred to as ‘springtails’ — small, wingless, segmented creatures often mistaken for insects).
The Terrestrial Invertebrates are such a large group of organisms that the arachnids (spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites) have traditionally been a separate operational unit at the South Australian Museum. Terrestrial Invertebrates includes the remaining Arthropoda which constitute more than 90% of the known animal kingdom.
The Museum has had some of the longest history of terrestrial invertebrate research in Australian museums that dates back to the early 1900s. Most notable was the work by Herbert Womersley from 1933 to 1962 who published across a wide range of invertebrate fauna, and there are few current taxonomic studies on Collembola (springtails) and Acarology (mites) that do not have some reference to his work. Current research at the South Australian Museum benefits from the extensive Terrestrial Invertebrates Collection but other groups or regions are also a focus.