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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Hyalinobatrachium pellucidum
Hyalinobatrachium pellucidum Ecuador, Napo Province. Photographed by Roy McDiarmid

The Division of Amphibians and Reptiles is accessible to qualified scientists and graduate students who wish to conduct research using the National Collection of Amphibians and Reptiles and library.  The division does not offer tours to the general public.  Please contact a curator or collection manager well in advance of your anticipated arrival to make arrangements for your visit.   Visitors studying the North American portion of the National Collection of Amphibians and Reptiles should contact a USGS Biological Resources Division curator or collection manager.

Getting Here

Parking at the National Museum of Natural History Building (NHB) can be difficult to impossible.  For this reason, visitors are encouraged to use public transportation whenever possible.  The Metro subway stops at Smithsonian, Archives, and Federal Triangle are within walking distance to the NHB.

All visitors to the research collections at the NHB must initially arrive at the 10th and Constitution Avenue entrance and sign in with the Visitors Services office located in the lobby. From the Visitors Services office a staff member will escort you to the division.

Division Hours

The Division of Amphibians and Reptiles is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Arrangements to arrive earlier or to work later must be made in advance.  The division is closed on weekends and federal holidays.  Long term visitors desiring access after hours and weekends will need to discuss this possibility with the curatorial staff. 

The Museum Support Center

The National Collection of Amphibians and Reptiles is divided between the NHB on the National Mall and the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Suitland, Maryland.  All amphibian and reptile taxa are housed at the MSC with the exception of the dry lizards, which remain at the NHB. 

Visitors wishing to examine specimens at the Museum Support Center must make arrangements with our staff prior to your visit, as a staff member must accompany you in order to sign you in and provide access to the collections. The museum provides a regular shuttle bus to and from the MSC.  Visitors should plan extra time for their visit to accommodate travel time to and from this facility. 


The Museum Support Center maintains strict inventory control over specimen movement in and out of the building through its shipping office. Visitors planning to bring comparative material into the MSC facility must let the Collections Management Staff know in advance. A list of specimens being brought into the building must be presented, along with the specimens, to the shipping officer.

Please be advised that due to security policies at the MSC, we cannot host visitors after hours or on weekends at this facility, so plan your visit accordingly.

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