An American couple have donated their bug collection to Arizona State University.
The collections includes more than a million insects, and is worth an estimated $10m. The bugs come from every continent and corner of the world, gathered over almost six decades.
Nico Franz, an entomologist at ASU, said the O’Brien collection was a goldmine for researchers and would double the university’s current holdings. Every specimen of the collection is worth between $5 to $300, depending on its rarity, and about 1,000 of the O’Briens’ insects are “new to science”.
The collection will help scientists piece together a large branch of insects’ family tree and also be a resource for scientists who study natural controls on the environment.
Entomologists study insects, such as ants, bees, and beetles.