Peter Lillywhite

Peter Lillywhite

Senior Collection Manager, Entomology and Arachnology

About me

Contact me
Contact me through our enquiries team

I am responsible for the care of the Science Department's collection of insects, spiders, centipedes, and their relatives - more than 3 million specimens, stored either in ethanol, pinned in drawers, or mounted on microscope slides.   I administer the department’s collections database. I facilitate access to the collections for researchers, including loans and collection visits.

Starting at the Museum in 1979 I worked in a technical capacity in the Invertebrate Survey Department until 2001. That position saw me involved in field work all over Victoria, parts of New South Wales, Southern Queensland and South Australia, the deserts of Central Australia, rainforests in Tasmania and freshwater streams on the Sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

In 2001 I joined the Entomology/Arachnology Collection Management Team. Upon moving into a modern collection store, we were able to implement best-practise pest management approahces which allowed me to remove the pest deterent chemical , Naphthalene, from the dry collection, thus lowering the associated health risk.  

My work has also involved selecting and preparing thousands of insects and other  invertebrates for display in exhibitions such as Bugs Alive.

Teaching and students

I regularly supervise undergraduate students during their internships in the department.


Marchant, R. & Lillywhite, P. 1989. A freeze-corer for sampling stony river beds. Bull. Aust. Soc. Limnol. 12:41-48.

Marchant, R. & Lillywhite, P. 1994. Survey of stream invertebrate communities on Macquarie Island. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45:471-481.

Robertson, P., Bennett, A.F., Lumsden, L.F., Silveira, C.E., Johnson, P.G., Yen, A.L., Milledge, G.A., Lillywhite, P.K. & Pribble, H.J. 1989. Fauna of the Mallee study area, north‑ western Victoria. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 87.

Van Praagh, B.D., Yen, A.L. & Lillywhite, P.K. 1989. Further information on the Giant Gippsland Earthworm Megascolides australis (McCoy 1878). Victorian Naturalist 106:197-201.

Yen, A.L., Kobelt, A.J., Lillywhite, P.K. & Van Praagh, B.D. 1994. The terrestrial invertebrates of the Western Region of  Melbourne. Report to the Department of Planning and Development as part of the Western Suburbs Action Program 1989/90. 116 pp.

Yen, A.L. & Lillywhite, P.K. 1990. A preliminary report into the invertebrates collected from the canopy of Tasmanian rainforest trees, with special reference to the Myrtle Beech. Report prepared for the Tasmanian Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage. 15pp.

Yen, A.L. & Lillywhite, P.K. 1991. The barking spider, Selenocosmia stirlingi (Araneae, Theraphosidae), in Victoria. Australasian Arachnology No. 43:3-4.

Yen, A.L., Lillywhite, P.K. & Van Praagh, B.D. 1994. The terrestrial invertebrate faunas in and around the vicinity of the Eynesbury woodlands and the Long Forest Flora Reserve. Report to the Australian Heritage Commission under the National Estates Grant Program for Project No. 725 1989/90.

Yugovic, J.V., Crosby, D.F., Ebert, K., Lillywhite, P., Saddlier, S.R., Schultz, M., Vaughan, P.J., Westaway, J. & Yen, A.L. 1990. Flora and fauna of the Koonung and Mullum Mullum Valleys (Proposed Eastern Arterial Road and Ringwood Bypass), Victoria. Department of Conservation, Forests & Lands Ecological Survey Report No. 38. 158pp.

Connect with Museums Victoria

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest news about our exhibitions, special events, programs and offers.