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caterpillar Perithemis dragonfly Siproeta butterfly asilid fly Erotylus beetle

The Canadian National Collection (CNC) of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes is considered one of the best collections of its kind in the world in terms of size, species representation, and level of curation. It is maintained and developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as part of its systematics research program, and is housed in the K.W. Neatby Building in Ottawa (Figure 1). The collection is estimated to contain approximately 16 million specimens systematically arranged in 1400 steel cabinets (Figure 2). Specimens are stored mostly as dry-mounted pinned specimens (Figure 3), but certain groups (e.g. larvae, aquatic insects, spiders, mites, aphids, midges, fleas, etc) are stored in liquid preservative (Figure 4) or mounted on slides (Figure 5). The majority of specimens are from localities throughout Canada and North America, but significant holdings are present from other biogeographic regions.

CanaColl Foundation

The CanaColl Foundation was founded in 1972 expressly to promote taxonomic research on the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes. It functions as an independent, non-profit organization that is incorporated under Canadian law and is a registered charity. Funding for this web site is provided by the CanaColl Foundation.

What's New at the CNC  new! Updated June 16, 2013
History of CNC
Role and Uses

Curatorial Units

Collection Management

National Identification Service

Arachnida (Mites, Ticks, Spiders)
Coleoptera (Beetles)
Diptera (Flies)
Hemiptera (True Bugs)
Hymenoptera (Sawflies, Parasitic Wasps, Ants, Wasps, Bees)
Lepidoptera (Butterflies, Moths)
Miscellaneous Insect Orders
Nematoda (Roundworms)


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