New Zealand has a distinctive and diverse land invertebrate fauna, with 22,000 arthropod species described and at least that number again awaiting discovery. Approximately 80% of these species are endemic being found nowhere else in the world. Less than 20% of endemic species have adequate scientific descriptions. Systematic studies on poorly known groups are revealing the presence of many new species, as well as species introduced mainly through the actions of humans.
Our research underpins the sustainable use and management of biodiversity. Current projects focus primarily on catalogues and taxonomic revisions targeting groups of importance to end users or to the understanding of New Zealand's unique fauna. These studies are combined with molecular approaches, phylogenetic methodologies, and innovative methods of data analysis and delivery.
We maintain and develop the New Zealand Arthropod Collection and its associated databases and the National Nematode Collection of New Zealand. We deliver invertebrate information through the Fauna of New Zealand series, other science publications, identifications, online tools and other services.