DORSA (German Orthoptera Collections) is a specimen based database with internet access to important Orthoptera collections held in German museums. It includes geographic information on a world-wide basis as well as media data like images of type specimens and sound recordings ("Virtual Museum"). During the three years (04/2000 - 03/2003) that the project was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) , more than 9000 specimens from 9 museums collections were databased. 7421 type specimens in 2960 species (2229 species with primary types) were documented by more than 25000 photographic images. About one tenth of the roughly 29000 species-group names in Orthoptera worldwide are documented by type specimens in German collections. A public sound library for Orthoptera sounds was established comprising more than 4000 sound records linked to voucher specimens. All data will be available via the SYSTAX database. For the moment the following data are already available online via the DORSA homepage:
® a documentation of the Grylloidea types including 3000 images internet-linked on a species to species basis with the Orthoptera Species File Online (OSF) working in both directions,
® a Java-based map server with graphical user interface,
® the sound library (coming soon).
A rapid assessment tool was developed for automated song recognition. A beta version of the software runs under Windows on laptop computers, making it possible to use the recognition tool in the field.
Key words: Orthoptera, specimen database, type catalogue, photographic documentation, insect sounds, virtual museum.