Couple Donates $10 Million Insect Collection To ASU

Posted: Mar 25 2017, 8:02am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 25 2017, 2:26pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Couple Donates $10 Million Insect Collection to ASU
Specimens from what Charlie O'Brien calls his "oh my" display case. Photo Credit: Deanna Dent/ASU Now

An old couple has made an insect collection donation worth $10 million. This will serve as a bonanza for entomologists.

An old couple that is in their 80s has made an insect collection donation that is worth a fortune for the sake of science. Their names are Charles and Lois O’Brien and they live in Tucson, Arizona.

The two elderly couple have a total of a million insects preserved and mounted in little glass and plastic boxes and trays in their home. This collection of insects is said to be worth a cool $10 million.

The two used home-made materials to house the dead insects which are of every hue and shape. The insects hail from every continent and place on earth. The O’Briens have decided to donate their collection to Arizona State University.

Theirs was one of the largest private collection of insects in the global village. It is indeed a treasure trove they are donating. It will come in handy for future researchers and the university heads are very thankful to both husband and wife for their extreme generosity. Some of the insects in the collection are a rarity.

At least a thousand of them are completely new species that have not been seen before by entomologists. The pigeon-holing and sorting of the insects will take some time as the students of Arizona State University will get to work on the task as soon as the donation process is complete.

Charlie, the husband, has said that he and his wife married each other after they learnt that they both had an avid interest in collecting insects. His wife Lois was a chemist when she decided to do a course in entomology.

Lois spoke of how insects fascinated her and her husband right from the start. They can fly, swim and sting. The third one of these functions is something Lois wished she had so she could deal with pesky neighbors.

Charlie O’Brien meanwhile spoke of how he also had to feed the bloodsucking insects in the beginning and it was a thankless task since he didn’t want them sucking his blood.

He loved the roaches yet he says he wasn’t so enthusiastic about the mosquitoes. Among some of the other insects the couple loved were planthoppers and weevils.

Through the years as the husband and wife aged, their love for each other and their insect collection never waned. Today they both admit that it has truly been a wonderful life and they have no regrets whatsoever.

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