Over 60,000 specimens have been registered in this collection, which has a particular emphasis on South Australian and arid zone fauna.
A second major regional focus is Melanesia, especially the island of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea and Papua Province, Indonesia), with some 6,000 registered specimens. Most material is formalin-fixed and stored in 70% alcohol, with tadpoles stored in formalin. There is a significant dry skeletal collection of over 1,500 specimens, mostly skulls, and this will continue to be expanded. Since 1980, the great majority of specimens acquired (approx. 40,000) have had tissue samples (mostly liver) taken for genetic and biochemical research. These are held in the SA Museum's Australian Biological Tissue Collection (ABTC).
All specimens are individually registered and the data entered on a computerised data basing system, with basic computerised specimen data (species, location, date and collector). All specimens are stored onsite in the SA Museum's Science Centre.
To find out more about our collections the data can now be accessed via the Online Zoological Collections in Australian Museums (OZCAM). OZCAM is the key data repository for fauna collections from Australian collections institutions. The same data can also be found at the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) site, where a wide range of biological data from museums, herbaria and even microbiology collections are available online.