US biologist donates 4,000 insects to Costa Rica

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Associated Press

Posted on October 26, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 1:34 PM

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — A U.S. biologist has donated 4,000 insects he collected over 62 years to Costa Rica.

Richard Whitten has donated his collections of giant scorpions, tarantulas, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles and other insects to the University of Costa Rica, where it is being exhibited this week.

Whitten, who has lived in Costa Rica for 16 years, says he and his wife are moving back to the United States, where several universities wanted to house the insects.

Whitten says he decided to give the collection to the Costa Rican university because they promised to permanently exhibit it.

He says that leaving his collection behind "is like leaving my children."

Collection curator and biology professor Ricardo Murillo calls the collection "invaluable."

%@AP Links

103-a-06-(Richard Whitten, American biologist who donated insect collection, in AP interview)-"here is beautiful"-American biologist Richard Whitten says he chose to donate the collection to the university because they agreed to make it available to the public. (26 Oct 2013)

<<CUT *103 (10/26/13)££ 00:06 "here is beautiful"

102-a-14-(Richard Whitten, American biologist, in AP interview)-"that was responsible"-American biologist Richard Whitten says he has donated 4,000 insects he collected over 62 years to Costa Rica. (26 Oct 2013)

<<CUT *102 (10/26/13)££ 00:14 "that was responsible"

APPHOTO CRJC102: Beetles collected by U.S. Biologist Richard Whitten is on display at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Whitten, who has lived in Costa Rica for over a decade, donated his collections of giant scorpions, tarantulas, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles and other insects to the University of Costa Rica, where it is being exhibited this week. (AP Photo/Javier Cordoba) (25 Oct 2013)

<<APPHOTO CRJC102 (10/25/13)££

APPHOTO CRJC101: U.S. Biologist Richard Whitten poses in front of a part of his insect collection on exhibit at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Whitten, who has lived in Costa Rica for over a decade, donated his collections of giant scorpions, tarantulas, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles and other insects to the University of Costa Rica, where it is being exhibited this week. (AP Photo/Javier Cordoba) (25 Oct 2013)

<<APPHOTO CRJC101 (10/25/13)££

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