Over 700k Preserved Insects on Display at Arizona State University
If you're not a bug lover, then this story isn't for you. However, if you like the little creeper crawlers, then the thought of over 700,000 preserved insects that were on display in Arizona might be something that would get you excited.
Hundreds of thousands of those critters were on display at the Frank F. Hasbrouck Insect Collection at Arizona State University, a little-known collection of roughly 700,000 preserved insects.
“We have a large collection of beetles, and a spectacular collection of moths. There’s a walking stick that’s probably close to a foot long, and a big rhinoceros Scarab beetle. We have a specimen of the largest butterfly species,” Nico Franz, associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and curator of the insect collection, told the East Valley Tribune.
The event, which was in observance of International Museum Day, showcased insects from the Southwest as well as some that were collected in other North American regions and Mexico. Some of the critters are 100 years old or more, according to the report.
Franz told the paper that the collection has grown slowly over the years, which houses approximately two million insect specimens. The collection is named after Frank Hasbrouck, passed away in the 1980s.
“[Hasbrouck] came to ASU in 1962. When he came, we had about 50,000 specimens, and by the time he passed, it was easily eight or ten times that much,” Franz told the paper (he took on the role of curator in August 2011).
“The collection had been sort of dormant, I think, for 15 or 25 years; however, we are well staffed for the first time in a long time. We’re collecting specimens again; we’re growing.”
He and his team are working to log the collection’s specimens in a virtual museum called The Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network. Funded by the National Science Foundation, it will digitize images and data for 750,000 arthropod specimens from the university and nine other institutions.