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Wildlife sounds: amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects and soundscapes

The British Library Sound Archive has an extensive collection of amphibian, reptile, invertebrate and fish sounds. The collection also contains soundscapes.

Amphibians, reptiles and fish

Amphibians

Over 800 species from many countries, the amphibians of North America, South Africa, Europe and Australia are all well represented on published discs and cassettes. The collection includes many unpublished species taped by J. Menzies in Papua New Guinea, J.C. Roché in western Europe, E. la Marca in Venezuela, and M. Read in Trinidad and Ecuador, and many other unpublished species from Sulawesi, Sarawak, Peru, Europe, the Gambia and Cameroon; some of these are cross-referenced to museum specimens. Many more recordings are added to the collections every year from collections supplied by recordists and scientists worldwide.

Fish

The British Library Sound Archive has recordings of 250 different fish species. A small collection of sounds of marine fish by A.D. Hawkins, some recordings of freshwater species and a number of American and Russian discs are of unusual interest.

Reptiles

Recordings of 60 species from 12 families of snakes, tortoises, alligators and lizards are held in the collection. Of particular interest are the recordings of juvenile crocodilians by N. Mathevon and K. Hampson.

Insects and other invertebrates

A wide range of insect types that are sound producers, in total 700 species from 12 insect Orders, are represented in the collections. The majority of species are European Orthoptera, including a major collection formed by D. Ragge and J. Reynolds of the Natural History Museum, London.

Other interesting material deposited includes: detailed BBC recordings of the Honey Bee, Homoptera recordings by M.F. Claridge, underwater stridulations of aquatic Hemiptera bugs by A. Jansson, ultrasonic recordings of Lepidoptera made by M.F. Claridge and J.D. Pye.

Many more recordings are added to the collections every year from collections supplied by recordists and scientists worldwide. A few recordings of Crustaceans and Arachnids are also held.

Soundscapes and natural sound effects 

The British Library Sound Archive has a variety of atmospheric recordings from around the world capturing the essence of various landscapes at a particular place and time. The recordings are variously termed 'atmosphere', 'environmental', 'habitat' or 'soundscape' recordings. 

The collection also has sounds of rainfall, volcanoes, geothermal vents, ocean waves, waterfalls, wind and thunder and other natural sounds.