Herpetology Department


Amphibian Bubbling Kassina -  Louis du Preez
Bubbling Kassina - Kassina senegalensis | © Louis du Preez

The Department of Lower Vertebrates was created in April 1971 when Dr S.W.P. de Waal (1971-1980) was appointed Head of Department. During this period the Department of Lower Vertebrates conducted research exclusively on amphibians and reptiles. Prior to this, Dr A.C. Hoffman (1930-1944) had been involved with a variety of herpetological research.

In 1982, shortly after Mr J.H. van Wyk (1982-1988) was appointed Head of the Lower Vertebrate Department, the Department was re-named Department of Herpetology. Subsequent Heads of Department were Dr L.H. du Preez, Dr A.F. Flemming, Dr N.J.L. Heideman and Dr R.M. Douglas (see Research and Publications for further detail).

The Department has the following aims:

  • To conduct research on reptile and amphibian taxonomy.
  • To conduct research on the ecological and environmental aspects of the biology of southern African amphibians and reptiles.
  • To collect, maintain (curate), and research the amphibian and reptile collections.
  • To make the collections available to other researchers.
  • To disseminate research results and other information through the scientific and popular media.
  • To provide educational services and assistance to other institutions and members of the public.
  • To conserve all southern African amphibians and reptiles.