Research in the Department concentrates on investigations of the global biodiversity of insects (Insecta), springtails (Collembola) and proturans (Protura). Research includes phylogeny, biogeography, biodiversity and faunistics of various geographical regions.
The objects of study are insects including scarab and rove beetles (Scarabeidae, Staphylinidae), lepidopterans such as leafroller and tiger moths (Tortricidae, Arctiidae), hymenopterans such as bees (Apidae) and ants (Formicidae), flies from the families (Trichoceridae, Mycetophylidae) as well as two sister groups of insects: springtails (Collembola) and proturans (Protura). Our team has described new taxa (species and genera), elaborated identification keys for different invertebrate groups and compiled monographs (global and regional) of phylogenetic syntheses, comparative morphology, and faunistic surveys. These investigations are the basis for further studies using molecular techniques.
The taxonomic/faunistic studies of the Department have led to the compilation of identification keys for species and higher taxonomic units that are used in both basic and applied biological disciplines.
The Department oversees a large and growing collection of invertebrates from around the world. Presently, the collection encompasses over 500 thousand specimens. Valuable historic collections are also maintained, for example Antoni Waga’s XIX century collection of insects and other invertebrates (spiders and harvestmen, among others), Oktawiusz Radoszkowski’s collection of hymenopterans from remote parts of Asia (second half of the XIX century) and the “Apterygota of prof. Jan Stach” that contains a large amount of type material collected by the professor between the 1920’s and 1960’s. The collection of springtails and proturans was substantially augmented by prof. Andrzej Szeptycki. The hymenopteran collection was expanded by prof. Mirosława Dylewska and prof. Waldemar Celary from the 1950’s to the beginning of the XXI century. The collection of Microlepidoptera of Sergiusz Toll has been enriched through the efforts of prof. Józef Razowski who obtained numerous type specimens of leafroller moths (Tortricidae). The Macrolepidoptera collection was also augmented by gifts from Teofil Baldwin-Kiełczyński (Ornithoptera and other exotic butterflies), Edward Palik and Jan Kozielec.
Our staff collects material that is added to the collection and also used in scientific research: Aleocharinae - prof. Grzegorz Paśnik, winter crane flies and fungus knats (Trichoceridae, Mycetophylidae) - prof. Ewa Krzemińska, leafrollers (Tortricidae) - prof. Józef Razowski (emeritus), tiger moths (Arctiidae) - dr Łukasz Przybyłowicz, Hymenoptera - dr Dawid Moroń, Protura - dr Julyia Shrubovych, springtails (Collembola) - prof. Wanda M. Weiner, prof. Grzegorz Paśnik.