Lincoln University Entomology Research Collection

Lincoln University Entomology Research Collection
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Location of facility: 
Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

Entomology collection

The Lincoln University Entomology Research Collection is one of New Zealand’s largest and most comprehensive entomological collections, featuring insects and related arthropods from the natural environment as well as those of bioprotection interest. It is hosted by the Bio-Protection Research Centre in Canterbury, New Zealand.

The collection’s specimen holdings are primarily from the New Zealand region. The geographical focus is on the South Island fauna, with substantial collections also from offshore islands including the Chatham Islands, Three Kings Islands and subantarctic island groups. The collection contains comprehensive collections of most insect orders with strengths in beetles, tussock grassland moths and parasitic wasps.

The collection is curated by John Marris.

Collection overview

  • Primarily New Zealand insects, spiders and related arthropods
  • 250,000 pinned insect specimens plus separate slide and ethanol collections
  • Around 60 type specimens
  • The pinned collection is housed in unit tray storage in 1300 Cornell-style drawers.

Aims of the collection

  • To enhance knowledge of New Zealand’s biodiversity.
  • To provide taxonomic expertise and resources for local and international researchers.
  • To develop the collection through continued specimen acquisition.

Access to the collection

Visits and loan requests are welcomed from all bona fide researchers and can be arranged by contacting the Curator John Marris.

Some specimen records are available through the TFBIS (Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) on the Landcare Research website:

Collection history

Entomology was taught from the earliest days of Lincoln’s existence. Prof F W Hutton, Professor of Biology at Canterbury College, taught Natural Science from 1880 to 1881. Part of his entomology collection is held in the Entomology Research Museum. The collection proper was established in the late 1960s following the appointment of Roy Harrison as Lincoln’s first Professor of Entomology. The collection grew rapidly from that time, particularly as a result of annual Departmental collecting trips to areas of the country that were poorly known entomologically. These trips ceased in the 1990s but the collection continues to be actively added to through research-related collecting by staff and students.