Main Collection

Photographs of all species represented in the collection

Featured Families


Members of this family skillfully mimic bees and wasps by exhibiting scaleless wings, banded abdomens, and legs covered with tufts of scales that resemble pollen.


Known as mantisflies, larvae commonly prey on spider eggs, and adults superficially resemble preying mantids.


Collectors are drawn to this large family due to their diversity in size and colour. Some of its members are famous for their role as scavengers, pests, or even as sacred animals.

Notable Collections

Spencer Slide

A collection of over 8,000 microscope slides of fleas and lice from around the world that constitute Spencer's personal holdings.

Lane Photograph Collection

A collection of over 10,000 photographic slides by late insect photographer Ian Lane, generously donated by his family.

Hook Beetle

Over 3,000 historical specimens from the UK, Japan, and BC are showcased along with their accompanying field note book entries.

What's New

Notes on Insects Recently Introduced to Metro Vancouver

Through fieldwork and examination of older museum specimens sixteen species of insects are recorded for the first time from British Columbia, including seven new to Canada. Read more here.

Insects of the Vancouver Convention Centre Green Roof

Beginning in 2016, an inventory of the insects on the VCC Green Roof was conducted monthly.

A Checklist of the Clearwing Moths (Sesiidae) of BC and YT

A complete list of BC and YT species including distributiions, host plant records, and general biology.

Asian Vespa New to BC

In the summers of 2019 and 2020, three Asian Giant Hornet species were discovered in BC.

Original Insect Drawings

As long as there have been natural history collections there have been natural history illustrators.

The Collection

Over half a million pinned specimens, 75,000 alcohol-preserved specimens and 25,000 specimens on slides showcase BC and the Yukon's spectacular insect diversity. Past collectors' particular projects have shaped the collection, and have resulted in particularly strong holdings of Hemiptera (true bugs), Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), Siphonaptera (fleas) and Anoplura and Mallophaga (lice). The collection has also been enriched by the following notable holdings: de Waard Lepidoptera (moths), Downes Hemiptera (true bugs), Foxlee Diptera (true flies) and Hymenoptera (bees and wasps), Harrison Coleoptera (carabids), Llwewllyn Jones Lepidoptera (butterflies), Scudder Hemiptera (true bugs), Stace-Smith Coleoptera (beetles). The Collection also includes an extensive library of entomological literature, ranging from insect taxonomy, biology, and habitat to pest control. It includes over 350 books, 8000 reprints, and 20 series of unbound journals. We also have over 10,000 photographic slides of insects and arachnids with accompanying data.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum

The Spencer Entomological Collection is housed along with five other natural history collections in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia.

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