The Mollusca collection at Te Papa is the largest and most comprehensive in the country and comprises several million specimens across 350,000 lots. Scope is worldwide, with greatest strength in the New Zealand region, including the Kermadec Islands, Norfolk Island, the subantarctic islands, and the Antarctic. It contains more than 3,500 species from the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone, of which more than 1,600 are undescribed.
Te Papa holds about 1,080 Mollusca primary types, with most from the New Zealand region, but there are a few from Norfolk Island, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Brazil and Antarctica.
Te Papa holds one of the most comprehensive regional collections of deep-sea Cephalopoda in the world. Included are parts and whole specimens of several giant and colossal squids (Architeuthis dux and Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni).
There are over 80,000 registered lots of endemic New Zealand terrestrial Mollusca, including most of the more than 900 known species, of which about 430 (47%) are undescribed.
More than 90,000 of the 250,000 lots of New Zealand Mollusca held are databased. The collection also contains more than 80,000 registered lots of foreign mollusca that have yet to be databased.
Facilities include the most comprehensive Mollusca library in New Zealand.