Sessile marine invertebrates collections

Qld Museum divers documenting and recording the octocoral fauna of Lizard Island Gorgonian coral from Lizard Island collected during the 2008 CReefs expeditionWith the Great Barrier Reef our most important marine biodiversity resource, the Queensland Museum has a strong focus on marine invertebrates, particularly those sessile species living attached to the seabed. Soft corals from Heron Island collected during the 2008 CReefs expedition

  • contains large collections of the major sessile marine invertebrate phyla;
  • over 45,000 specimens at South Bank Brisbane and 28,000 in the Museum of Tropical Queensland Townsville, the latter including the internationally renown ‘Worldwide Acropora database’;
  • include approximately 1,100 type specimens in Brisbane and 930 types in Townsville campus;
  • 100% of the collection is databased;
  • recognised internationally for their comprehensive coverage of Indo-west Pacific species of sponges, hard corals and ascidians (tunicates);
  • more recent additions of world-class collections of ‘jellyfish’ (marine stingers, hydro- and cubomedusae);
  • commencement of building extensive collections of tropical coral reef octocorals (or soft corals);
  • the sponge collection contains over 4,000 species and is amongst the largest in the southern hemisphere;
  • the ascidian (or tunicate) collection is one of the most important in the world, containing the type specimens of a fauna that is increasingly recognised as Indo-West Pacific.