Exeter museum given prized insect collection
A conservation charity is donating a large collection of scientific specimens to a top local museum.
The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust has given the collection of butterflies, moths and other insects to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter.
The specimens were collected by Dr David Stradling, chairman of the trust – the charity that oversees Paignton Zoo, Slapton Ley, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo.
Mr Stradling, who died in July last year after a long illness, left 50 boxes of pinned
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specimens and an extensive collection of ants.
Simon Tonge, the trust’s
executive director, said: “This is a large private collection of
invertebrates put together by
a professional entomologist during the course of his working life. The specimens from Trinidad and Argentina are
Many of the UK specimens were collected in the Westcountry, including some moth specimens that appear to be first records for Devon.
Greg Sheldon, Exeter City Council’s lead councillor for environment and leisure, said: “We are delighted to accept this collection of local and scientifically valuable specimens. They will strengthen RAMM’s existing nationally important butterfly and moth collection. Of particular interest is a first Devon record for a small green moth found at Starcross.”