A Case for Preservation: The Value and Constraints of Maintaining Insect Collections in Developing Countries
Insect collections play a critical role in recording biodiversity, recognizing and managing invasive species, addressing crop pests, and more. Developing countries could benefit the most from insect collections but often have few such resources. Experts in the field highlight the critical need for building insect collections around the world.
The documentary film about entomologists Charlie and Lois O'Brien, who donated their 1.25 million-specimen insect collection to Arizona State University in 2017, will be screened for attendees at Entomology 2019 in November. The film's directors spoke with Entomology Today about the documentary, the messages it shares, and what they learned about entomology along the way.
The University of Florida's Forest Entomology Lab hosts the world's largest cryo-collection of bark and ambrosia beetles. Stored at –80 degrees Celsius, the samples are critical for study of the beetles' DNA and fungal symbionts, as well as for identification of beetle outbreaks in forests.
Backed by an international development grant, entomologist Tommy McElrath visited Phnom Penh to teach a three-week course on beetle collection and curation to students at the Cambodian Entomology Initiatives.