The Australian Helminthological Collection Database

AHC Jars image 430w

One of the specimen shelves in the Australian Helminthological Collection.

The South Australian Museum’s Australian Helminthological Collection consists of over forty-four thousand lots. Within the collection are representatives of over 3600 parasitic taxa which have been collected from over 2400 host taxa.
The entire collection has been databased and that data is provided here for researchers and other interested parties.

The logo of the Australian Society for Parasitology

We are able to make our data available in this form thanks to the generosity of The Australian Society for Parasitology.
The Society provided funding for Parasitology section staff  to undertake a major data audit to ensure that the data could be presented publically in an authoritative state. The goal of this work was to maximise the utility and availability of this, Australia’s most important collection of helminths. With this in mind in addition to  providing the data here, we will also be delivering it to the Atlas of Living Australia.
The work undertaken in this project included systematically verifying and updating all parasite taxonomy to correspond with the current classifications, linking host taxonomy to the updated internal host taxa lists and revising/standardising many other data fields.
The data columns in the file are as follows:
  • Prefix: Always “AHC” for the Australian Helminthological Collection
  • Registration Number: A unique integer
  • Parasite Identification: The identification of the parasite to the lowest level identified
  • Phylum: The Phylum of the helminth
  • Class: The Class of the helminth
  • Order: The Order of the helminth
  • Family: The Family of the helminth
  • Genus: The Genus of the helminth
  • Species: The species of the helminth
  • Subspecies: The subspecies of the helminth
  • Identification Comments: Any additional comments on the helminth identificationHost Identification: The identification of the host(to the lowest level identified) in or on which the helminth was found. Note that free living helminths are recorded as having the host “Free living”. Host Phylum: The Phylum of the host
  • Host Class: The Class of the host
  • Host Order: The Order of the host
  • Host Family: The Family of the host
  • Host Genus: The Genus of the host
  • Host species: The species of the host
  • Host subspecies: The subspecies of the host
  • Host Category: An informal category used to assist in grouping hosts: “Mammal”, “Fish”, “Arachnid” etc.
  • Site on Host: Where in or on the host the parasite was found
  • Locality: The locality from where the specimen was collected
  • Collectors: Who collected the specimen
  • Date Collected: The date on which the specimen was collected
  • Slide or Bottle: Whether the parasite specimens are stored in a bottle (“W” for “wet”) or on slides (“S”). This both identifies the type of preparation and identifies where in the collection the specimen is stored: there are also “LW” (“Large wet” – i.e. larger specimen jars). In addition, both “S” and “W” collections have a “Types” storage area.
  • Quantity: The number of jars or slides
  • Type Status: If the parasite is a type specimen
  • Field Numbers: Any numbers assigned to the parasite specimen by the collector