Muséum de Toulouse

The Muséum de Toulouse, Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de la ville de Toulouse (abbreviation: MHNT) is a museum of natural history in Toulouse, France. It is located in the Busca-Montplaisir, and houses a collection of more than 2.5 million items and has some 3 000 square metres of exhibition space.[1] Its Index Herbariorum code is TLM.[2]

Grand carré MHNT
Entry hall of the Muséum de Toulouse
Harpon 2010.0.3.5. Global
Multiple view of bone Azilian harpoon head, from about 10,000 years ago


The museum was founded in 1796 by the naturalist Philippe-Isidore Picot de Lapeyrouse, with his collections being able to be housed (after the revolution) in the former Carmelite monastery in Toulouse.[3] In 1808, the emperor Napoleon formally gifted all the Carmelite buildings and land to the city of Toulouse, [3] and in 1865 the museum was opened to the public in its present location and under the directorship of Édouard Filhol.[3] Toulouse museum was the first museum in the world to open a gallery of prehistory thanks to the collection of the malacologist Alfred de Candie de Saint-Simon[4] (1731-1851) and the collaboration of Émile Cartailhac, Jean-Baptiste Noulet, and Eugène Trutat.[5]

In 1887 (on the occasion of a world exposition in Toulouse) the botanical gardens of the university of Toulouse became part of the museum.[3] In 2008, the museum reopened in its present form (as of May 2018) with the renovations and extensions of the museum, designed by the architectural firm of Jean-Paul Viguier,[3][6] having been completed.

Permanent exhibitions

The permanent exhibition has five linked themes:

  • Sequence 1: Feeling the Earth's power.

Nature of the solar system and its formation. Nature of the Earth – plate tectonics, seismic and volcanic activity and erosion, petrology and mineralogy.

  • Sequence 2: Doing away with our notions of hierarchy.

The nature of life – biodiversity, classification, and organization.

  • Sequence 3: Getting to grips with the huge scale.

Earth history from 3.8 billion years ago. Introduces time, palaeontology and the evolution of life

  • Sequence 4: Admitting the obvious.

The main functions of living beings—feeding, respiration, locomotion, reproduction, protection and communication.

  • Sequence 5: Inventing the future.

The impact of human activity—demographic pressure on ecosystems and natural resources

MHNT - Themes-1
MHNT - Themes-2
MHNT - Themes-3
MHNT - Themes-4
MHNT - Themes-5
MHNT - Themes-6
MHNT - Themes-7
MHNT - Themes-8


This section presents examples to illustrate the content of each different collection of the Museum de Toulouse.


The prehistoric collection includes mostly artefacts excavated in France. They also contain comparative material from other parts of Europe and other continents. Notable collectors include Édouard Harlé (1850–1922), Antoine Meillet (1866– 1936), Alexis Damour (1808–1902), Félix Regnault (1847–1908), Louis Péringuey (1855–1924), Émile Cartailhac (1845–1921), Daniel Bugnicourt, Edward John Dunn (1844–1937), Henri Breuil (1877–1961), and Louis Lartet (1840–1899), as well as the curators Jean-Baptiste Noulet (1802–1890), Eugène Trutat (1840 -1910), and Édouard Filhol (1814–1883).

Sépulture de Teviec Global
Mesolithic tomb from Téviec, Brittany
Diorite-Reims-Damour 2
Polished Neolithic axe from Reims France – Alexis Damour collection
Hache Plagne Global
Polished Neolithic axe from Plagne Haute-Garonne collection Félix Régnault collection
Collier de Penne
Bronze bead necklace Holocene Bronze age Jean-Baptiste Noulet collection


Luffa aegyptiaca MHNT.BOT.2007.26.52
Luffa aegyptiaca – fibrous skeleton
Cassia fistula MHNT.BOT.2007.26.54
Cassia fistula – ripe fruit



Cerapterus pilipennis (Male)
Cerapterus pilipennis - Zambia
Chrysochroa rajah thailandica MHNT.ZOO.2004.0.520
Chrysochroa rajah thailandica - Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hiperantha testacea MHNT.ZOO.2004.0.561
Hiperantha testacea
Bupestrid from Colombia
Metaxymorpha gloriosa MHNT.ZOO.2004.0.535
Metaxymorpha gloriosa Bupestrid from North Queensland, Australia


Charaxes varanes vologeses (Mâle)
Charaxes varanes vologeses - Malawi
Morpho didius Male MHNT
Morpho didius - Peru
Archaeoprepona licomedes Bresil Global
Archaeoprepona licomedes - Brazil


Oedipoda caerulescens MHNT
Oedipoda caerulescens - Etang de la Maourine Toulouse
Titanacris Albipes Vol
Titanacris albipes- French Guyana
Porphyromma speciosa MHNT
Porphyromma speciosa-French Guyana


Celestite MHNT.MIN.1998.252
Celestine - Turkmenistan
Fluorine Peyrebrun
Fluorite - France
Népouite MHNT.MIN.2005.0.63
Nepouite - New Caledonia
Scheelite MHNT.MIN.2004.0.88 (p)
Scheelite - China
Blende MHNT.MIN.1998.81
Sphalerite - Roumania


  • The bird collection of MHNT contains more than 30,000 specimens, of which 20,000 are eggs. About 8,500 bird mounts and 1,500 scientific bird skins are included. Other bird items are around 2,000 skeletons and skulls and 5,300 eggs. The collection focuses on Europe (especially France), but the collection also has exotic species . Most are documented on card or computer systems.
  • The bird mount collection of Victor Besaucèle, with 5,000 specimens, is one of the most important historic collections in Europe.
  • Other collectors represented are R. Bourret, G. Cossaune, M. Gourdon, Hammonville, A. Lacroix, and Reboussin.
Harfang des neiges MHNT
Snowy owl: The oldest mount in the museum, collected by Mr Dode in 1807
  • The egg collection of Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut (1920–2007) was acquired in 2010. It contains his personal collections, supplemented by those of other ornithologists, notably Georges Guichard, Henri Heim de Balsac, and Rene de Naurois. It includes all the palearctic species (Europe, North Africa, and Asia), about 1,000 species and nearly 15,000 eggs, and is one of the most complete and best-documented palearctic egg collections in Europe.
Aigrette garzette MHNT

Egg of little egret



The specimens of the collection of paleontology amount to tens of thousands. They date from the Paleoarchean to the Eocene.


The invertebrates room was named Saint-Simon in honor to the collection of the malacologist Alfred de Candie de Saint-Simon, presented during the museum opening exhibit in 1865 under the directorship of Édouard Filhol.

Stromatolithe Paléoarchéen - MNHT.PAL.2009.10.1
One of the oldest life forms, a Stromatolite of Paleoarchean age – 3, 600 to 3, 200 million years ago (Mya)
Pseudoasaphus praecurrens MHNT.PAL.2003.439
Trilobite of Middle Ordovician – 468 to 460 Mya


Coelodonta antiquitatis
Woolly rhinoceros complete skeleton of Pleistocene age – 370, 000 to 10, 000 years ago
Coelodonta antiquitatis Crane
Woolly rhinoceros, complete skull
Flickr - Wikimedia France - machoire ours-a
Cave bear mandible of Pleistocene age

Henri Gaussen Botanical Garden

MHNT Jardin Henri Gaussen
Jardin Henri Gaussen in winter

Henri Gaussen was a Toulouse-based phytogeographer and botanist. The botanic garden which honours his name is attached to the museum and is part of the Earth and Life Science Research and Training Paul Sabatier University. A second botanical area, The Museum Gardens, extends over 3 hectares. It is notable for "potagers du monde" (vegetable gardens of the world) and a "shade house" which recreates the conditions required by shade plants.


  1. ^ Le Muséum de Toulouse on the official site of the tourism office of Toulouse
  2. ^ "NYBG Steere Herbarium, Index Herbariorum: Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Musuéum de Toulouse:Quelques dates de l'histoire du Muséum..." (in French). Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ L'Auta, Vol 431, p.225, Toulouse, France |
  5. ^ Le Muséum de Toulouse et l'invention de la préhistoire, 2010 ISBN 978-2-906702-18-9.
  6. ^ "Jean-Paul Viguier et Associés: Muséum de Toulouse".

External links

Coordinates: 43°35′38″N 1°26′57″E / 43.593858°N 1.449283°E


Acanthopidae is a family of mantises consisting of eight genera in the order Mantodea. The group was first formally split off as a separate family by the German entomologist Reinhard Ehrmann in 2002. In 2016, five genera (Acontista, Callibia, Paratithrone, Raptrix, and Tithrone) were moved from Acanthopidae to the newly created family Acontistidae.

Benjamin Balansa

Gaspard Joseph Benedict Balansa, also known as Benjamin Balansa or Benedict Balansa (25 March 1825 – 2 November 1891) was a French botanist.

Born in Narbonne in 1825, Balansa made numerous collecting trips for the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris which holds most of his plant specimens. Others are in Muséum de Toulouse.

His first journey, from 1847 to 1848, was to Algiers and Mostaganem in Algeria.

From 1850 to 1853, Balansa returned to Algeria, collecting plants again in Mostaganem and later in Oran, Muaskar, the Northern Sahara, Biskra and Batna.

From 1854 to 1855 he undertook his first trip to Asia travelling first to Smyrna and the surrounding regions in April and May, 1854. From March until October 1855 he lived in Mersin and the Taurus Mountains of Cilicia. The following year, he travelled from June until September 1856 from Tarsus to Kayseri in Cappadocia. In 1857 he settled with his family in Smyrna. From May until July 1857 he explored Uşak and the surrounding area and until 1865 he undertook tours to Phrygia and Cilicia. In 1866, he made a trip to Lazistan and the Caucasus, where he collected from June to August in the area of Trabzon and Rize. In autumn 1866 he returned to France.

A year later, in 1867 he collected in Morocco in the area of Mogador, the Atlas Mountains and Marrakech.

From 1868 to 1872 Balansa stayed overseas in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. During this time he was Director of the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Nouméa. From 1873 to 1877, he made his first trip to Paraguay, followed by a second from 1878 to 1884. In the years from 1885 to 1889, he collected in Tonkin and undertook a trip to the island of Java. In his (1890) second stay at Balansa died in Hanoi.

Caves of Gargas

The Caves of Gargas (French: Grottes de Gargas) in the Pyrenees region of France are known for their cave art from the Upper Paleolithic period - about 27,000 years old.

The caves are open to the public.

Eugène Trutat

Eugène Trutat (25 August 1840 – 6 August 1910) was a French naturalist, mountaineer, pyreneist, geologist and photographer, who was curator of the Museum of Toulouse.

He began taking photographs in 1859, and produced almost 15,000 over the course of the next fifty years, covering a wide range of topics.


The family Fulgoridae is a large group of hemipteran insects, especially abundant and diverse in the tropics, containing over 125 genera worldwide. They are mostly of moderate to large size, many with a superficial resemblance to Lepidoptera due to their brilliant and varied coloration. Various genera and species (especially the genera Fulgora and Pyrops) are sometimes referred to as lanternflies or lanthorn flies, though they do not emit light.

The head of some species is produced into a hollow process (structure), resembling a snout, which is sometimes inflated and nearly as large as the body of the insect, sometimes elongated, narrow and apically upturned. It was believed, mainly on the authority of Maria Sibylla Merian, that this process, the so-called lantern, was luminous at night in the living insect. Carl Linnaeus adopted the statement without question and coined a number of specific names, such as laternaria, phosphorea and candelaria to illustrate the supposed fact, and thus propagated the myth.


Haetera is a Neotropical butterfly genus from the subfamily Satyrinae in the family Nymphalidae.

Harlequin beetle

The harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus) is a tropical longhorned beetle native from southern Mexico to Uruguay. The harlequin beetle feeds on sap and is given this name because of its elaborate pattern of black, red and greenish yellow markings on the wing covers of both sexes. The species name longimanus is a Latin word that refers to the extremely long forelegs (manus) of the males, which are usually longer than the beetle’s entire body. As an adult, the species is very large, with a body that can measure nearly 76 mm (3 inches) in length. It is also famous for carrying pseudoscorpions as a form of phoresy.

Henri Filhol

Henri Filhol (13 May 1843 – 28 April 1902) was a French medical doctor, malacologist and naturalist born in Toulouse. He was the son of Édouard Filhol (1814-1883), curator of the Muséum de Toulouse.

After receiving his early education in Toulouse, he moved to Paris, where he obtained doctorates in medicine and science. In 1879 he was appointed professor of zoology at the Faculty of Toulouse. From 1894 to 1902 he occupied the chair of comparative animal anatomy at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris. In 1897 he became a member of the Académie des sciences.

In the field of paleontology, he performed important studies of fossilized mammals in the phosphorites in Quercy.He served as the expedition doctor and naturalist on the French 1874 Transit of Venus Expedition to Campbell Island, with Filhol Peak on the island being named after him. In 1883 with Alphonse Milne-Edwards, Léon Vaillant, Edmond Perrier and others, he embarked on a scientific journey aboard the Talisman.


Himerarctia is a genus in the subtribe Phaegopterina in the family Erebidae.

Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut

Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut (18 October 1920, Paris – 17 March 2007, Paris)

was a French ornithologist.

His bird collections are held by Muséum de Toulouse. The Jacques Perrin de Brichambaut egg collection includes all the Palearctic species (Europe, North Africa and Asia), that is to say approximately 1,000 species and nearly 15,000 eggs and is one of the most complete and best documented palearctic egg collections in Europe.

Lasiocampa quercus

Lasiocampa quercus, the oak eggar, is a common moth of the family Lasiocampidae found in Europe, including Britain and Ireland. It feeds on a variety of plant species, and may develop over two years in higher latitudes, where it may be known as the Northern eggar. Its suffix quercus refers to the cocoon, which resembles an acorn.

List of mantis genera and species

The following list of mantis genera and species is incomplete. It is based on the "Tree of Life Project", which is the primary (but not the only) reference for the taxonomy shown here. It will differ from those derived from taxonomic categorizations made before 2003.

The insect Order Mantodea consists of over 2,400 species in about 430 genera, of which a majority are in the family Mantidae. Formerly, only the family Mantidae was recognized within the order.

Note that in some cases, common names in the English language are loosely applied to several different members of a particular genus, or even for species in various genera. For example, "giant Asian mantis" is used for various members of Hierodula, "dead leaf mantis" may refer not only to various species of Deroplatys, but to all brown mantises that use leaf mimicry for camouflage. "flower mantis" refers to numerous mantises, especially those belonging to or similar to those of genus Creobroter, and so on.

---For citation of common nomenclature and additional references, see individual articles.


Lombrives cave is located in Ornolac-Ussat-les-Bains, at the eastern edge of the Pyrénées Ariégeoises Natural Regional Park, Ariège, southwestern France. Earliest excavations by Félix Régnault took place in the late nineteenth century that confirmed human occupation during the Neolithic. The Lombrives cave has been declared the largest or widest cave of Europe in terms of volume. Having a length of 39 kilometres (24 miles) it is certainly not the longest cave, compared to several other European sites, that exceed a length of over 200 kilometres (120 mi).However, the cave's subterranean passages, caverns and galleries are distributed on seven superimposed levels, the 80-metre-high (260-foot) Cathedral cave alone has the size of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, "the rule of Satan" hall being four times as large.Due to its sheer size the cave accounts for a great variety of geological formations, underground landscapes, hundreds of karst and limestone concretions, speleothems, stalactites, stalagmites, countless minerals and crystals that can be viewed in a natural setting.

The cave has served as a refuge throughout history and in addition to prehistoric Neolithic human presence, the "heretic" Cathars gathered at the site between the 12th and 14th centuries.

Parides sesostris

Parides sesostris, the emerald-patched cattleheart or southern cattleheart, is a species of butterfly in the family Papilionidae.

Solar eclipse of July 18, 1860

A total solar eclipse occurred on July 18, 1860. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide.

People watching an eclipse in 1860 at Toulouse, France. Picture by Eugène Trutat, Muséum de Toulouse.


Sorde-l'Abbaye is a commune, in the department of Landes and the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France.

Ten-lined June beetle

The ten-lined June beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata), also known as the watermelon beetle, is a scarab beetle found in the western United States and Canada. The adults are attracted to light and feed on foliage. They can make a hissing sound when touched or otherwise disturbed, which can resemble the hissing of a bat. This sound is made by their wings pushing down, forcing the air out between their wings and back. They can be an agricultural pest affecting a wide range of crops because their larvae feed on plant roots and can weaken or kill the plants.


Téviec or Théviec is an island situated to the west of the isthmus of the peninsula of Quiberon, near Saint-Pierre-Quiberon in Brittany, France. The island is an important archaeological site due to its occupation during the Mesolithic period. Many archaeological finds have been made dating back to over 6,700 years before the present day, including the remains of over 20 people. One of the most remarkable finds was that of the grave of two young women who had apparently died violently but had received an elaborate burial under a "roof" of antlers, their bodies decorated with jewellery made from shells.

Édouard Harlé

Édouard Harlé (1850, Toulouse – 1922, Bordeaux) was a French railway engineer (Ingénieur des ponts et chaussées) and prehistorian

Édouard Harlé was a Director of the Chemin de Fer du Midi

His collections of prehistoric artefacts are held by Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Bordeaux and Muséum de Toulouse.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.