100 specimens Objects of the National Museum of Natural Science I - Zoology Department

National Museum of Natural Science

Zoology Department
There are four sections, Invertebrate, Insect, Amphibian and Reptile, and Bird and Mammal, in the Zoology Department. Our works focus on animal specimen collection and research in Taiwan, and its adjacent area of Eastern Asia.

This holotype was collected by Dr. Wen-Hao Chou, Senior Curator of Herpetology, NMNS, and his colleague, Mr. Yu-Bo Huang, from a tropical forest in central Vietnam. It was named after Professor Pao-Teh Han, the founding Director of NMNS. Two paratypes are currently deposited in IEBR Vietnam and the American Museum of Natural History, New York, respectively. This specimen remarks a significant international collaboration of expedition to Vietnam in 1990s.

Japalura luei is the last of all Taiwanese agamid lizards so far discovered. They are distributed in montane areas of Ilan and Hualien Counties, the northeastern Taiwan. They are usually found climbing on tree trunks. The scientific name is after Dr. Kuang-Yang Lue for his enormous contribution in herpetology of Taiwan. This is a paratype specimen

The Triton Trump Snail is widespread in Pacific and Indian Ocean, commonly seen in coral reef of Taiwan and its off-shore islands. They live in shallow water below the subtidal zone. The large-sized shell is measured over 40 cm. Adult tritons are active predators and feed on other mollusks and starfish. The giant triton has gained fame for its ability to capture and eat crown-of-thorns starfish thus may protect the health of coral reef.

This species is the largest homolid crab. It is found in West-Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of China, Taiwan and Japan exceeding 200 meters in depth. Their last pair of feet has specialized to hook-like clamps that may pick up items, such as bivalve shells or stones, to decorate the carapace in order to defense attack from the back.

Omura’s whale is widely distributed in the subtropical and tropical waters in Indo-Pacific, and is the most common baleen whales in Taiwan. Dr. Shiro Wada had noticed that this undescribed whale in early 1990s. However, his manuscript had been rejected by several journals until Nature published it in 2003. Dr. Wada named the whale after the Japanese cetologist Professor Hideo Omura.

This Black-faced spoonbill died from habitat pollution by the botulinum toxin in 2002, and was donated by Tainan County government. The Black-faced spoonbills are very rare and only distributed on the east coast of Asia. Their biggest wintering habitat, Tainan Chiku Black-faced Spoonbill Protected Area, was just becoming the newest National Park. The Taijiang National Park symbolized the victory of coastal area and wetland conservation of Taiwan.

For its rich in butterfly diversity, Taiwan has been once known as a butterfly kingdom. In 1960s Taiwan was once the largest exporter of butterfly handicraft products in the world. Tens of thousands of the residents on the island were benefited by the butterfly resource directly or indirectly. Taiwan’s butterfly processing industry subsided in early 1980s owing to industrial transition, market shrinking, less butterfly resource, and several other factors. Collectible butterfly products with good condition became fewer and fewer as time goes by. In 2010 the family of Sung-Kun Ong donated over 100,000 butterfly specimens and many elaborate butterfly products to NMNS. This beautiful butterfly-wing painting is one of the donated items. It depicts the indigenous Tao people on Orchid Island and their traditional fishing boat.

These night-active, moth-like creatures were long been considered in the moth family Geometridae as a subfamily. They were not recognized as a butterfly family called Hedylidae until 1986 when entomologists thoroughly studied their immature stages. This family is confined to Latin-America. Dr. Mamoru Owada in National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo gifted several precious specimens to NMNS in 2010.

National Museum of Natural Science
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