Readers of Gerald Durrell may distantly remember the rose-beetle man, nicknamed because of his habit of tying live beetles to his hat with string so that they constantly flew round his head.

John Powers would not be impressed. He has over 20 cases of a wide range of insects, including huge butterflies, moths and beetles, along with some arachnids, such as scorpions.

He has assembled the collection of rare and exotic creatures over five decades and is now taking them on a 20 stop tour of Canada.

The tour, appropriately enough, is sponsored by pest-controllers Orkin.

Powers has a degree of fame worldwide after presenting programmes about butterflies on the Discovery channel.

Whilst some might consider this sort of collecting should only be done by museums, Powers is not the only private collector of insects. Butterfly collecting used to be relatively popular and, more surprisingly, Britain's own Prof Hugh Pennington used to have an extensive fly collection.

It's a reminder that collecting is worthwhile purely as an opportunity for relaxation and individual interest, even if the subject is valuable only to yourself. 


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