In May, Dr. Ellen Brown of Fredericksburg, Virginia donated the collection of her husband Dr. Barry Lee Bressler (1936 – 2017) to the Virginia Tech Insect Collection. Dr. Bressler, who was born in Reading, Pennsylyvania, was a retired Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) physicist and adjunct professor of physics at Virginia Tech. Dr. Bressler graduated from Virginia Tech with a PhD in physics for his work on Fermion-boson couplings.
Bressler, an ardent naturalist, collected beetles and other insects in eastern Virginia. His collection is primarily made up of longhorned beetles of the family Cerambycidae, but other taxa are represented too including weevils, ants, and flies. The collection represents a valuable synoptic collection of the family Cerambycidae in eastern Virginia. Of the more than 1,000 specimens, there are several uncommonly encountered and rare specimens including Saperda imitans Felt & Joutel, 1904; Centrodera sublineata LeConte, 1862; and Lepturges pictus (LeConte, 1852).
Student curator in the collection, Grant Schiermeyer, who is curating the collection, identifying species, and incorporating the material into the VTEC states, “this collection of cerambycids contains a great amount of the diversity of longhorn beetles in this eastern US and will be a significant addition to the VTEC by adding specimens that are underrepresented or rare.”