Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection (SIO-BIC)

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection (SIO-BIC) is a research repository housing more than 50,000 lots, representing more than 800,000 specimens and more than 7,600 species from marine environments worldwide. The Collection includes extensive holdings from deep-sea environments (>1,000 m), chemosynthetic ecosystems (hydrothermal vents, hydrocarbon seeps, whale falls), Antarctica, and the eastern Pacific. Materials have been collected through a range of techniques, from intertidal hand collecting and SCUBA to trawls and deep-sea submersibles. SIO-BIC contains more than 700 type lots and considerable material properly preserved for genomic studies (95% ethanol and ultracold storage). Multiple preparation types are often available for each lot (e.g., fluid voucher, ethanol subsample, dry material). The searchable electronic database, including a map search feature and specimen images, is updated weekly and publicly accessible online at SIO-BIC supports scientific research by providing specimens for study of the taxonomy, biogeography, and evolution of benthic invertebrates, including the description of many new species. Specimens are available for examination at Scripps and for loan to researchers at recognized institutions worldwide, consistent with our loan policies. Collection staff and materials also support education and public outreach via undergraduate and graduate classes, school programs, guest lectures, artist collaborations, and exhibits and events at the Birch Aquarium.
Collection Type: Preserved Specimens
Management: Data snapshot of local collection database
Last Update: 24 May 2021
IPT / DwC-A Source:
Digital Metadata: EML File
Collection Statistics
  • 51,637 specimen records
  • 38,809 (75%) georeferenced
  • 1,291 families
  • 2,621 genera
  • 4,707 species
Extra Statistics
This project is supported by the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology through an award titled "Advancing Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics: Integrative Research and Training in Tropical Taxonomy" (DEB-1456674). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.