Is part of topic Arthropoda
Spiders in the collection range from tiny cobweb spiders (Theridiidae) at around 2 mm long, right up to the Brazilian bird-eating spider with a 200 mm leg span. The collection is also home to over 150 primary type specimens - including the holotype of the Nelson cave spider, New Zealand's first protected species of spider.
Worldwide, over 40,000 species of spider are known to scientists. In New Zealand, around 1100 species have been discovered with 95 per cent of them found nowhere else on earth. However, this may only be the tip of the iceberg as scientists estimate there are somewhere between 2500 and 3500 species in New Zealand.