What Has Six Legs?What can you learn about insects from the Royal BC Museum?

What animals have six legs, a three-part body, compound eyes, antennae and make up about half of all living things on Earth? Insects, of course. Did you know there are about 35,000 species of insects just in British Columbia? Insects and the other land animals without backbones, but with segmented bodies and jointed appendages (terrestrial arthropods) make up at least 75% of the more than one million species recorded on earth. 

Our insect (entomology) collection contains about 600,000 specimens of insects, spiders and other arachnids.

We share our museum specimens with insect scientists (entomologists) around the world. Sharing allows scientists with new perspectives or research techniques to add to the value of our specimens.

In this pathway: 

  • Go behind the scenes of the entomology collection in a video featuring Collection Manager Claudia Copley
  • Read about the fascinating world of dragonflies with Curator Emeritus of Entomology Dr Rob Cannings
  • Learn about scientific names and examine images of insects in the collection in look


Read about dragonflies and damselflies from Royal BC Museum expert Dr Rob Cannings.



Peek behind the scenes in a video about the Royal BC Museum entomology collection.



Examine photographs of insect specimens from the entomology collection.