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All major groups of terrestrial arthropods are well represented in the NZAC, collected from both from natural and human-modified habitats. Three-quarters of the specimens have been collected over the last 45 years since the formation of the systematics group.

The NZAC is a repository for voucher specimens from surveys, importations of biocontrol agents, and newly established exotic species. There is a substantial South Pacific collection held in trust for Pacific nations.

Parts of the collection are on electronic databases, and taxonomic revisions are often published as monographs in the Fauna of New Zealand).