Historical Lepidopterists

Historical Lepidopterists
Drury & Westwood. 1887. Illustrations of exotic entomology
Jason J. Dombroskie
Jean Baptiste Boisduval (1799-1879)
• Co-founder Société Entomologique
de France
• Mostly butterflies, other moths,
• Histoire général et iconographie
des lepidoptérès et des chenilles
de l’Amerique septentrionale
• Sphingids in Carnegie
Annette Frances Braun (1884-1978)
• 1st woman awarded a PhD at U. of Cincinnati
• vice-pres of Ent. Soc. Am. in 1926
• travelled extensively with her sister Dr. E. Lucy
Braun (a botanist) in E. US
• lived unmarried with her sister in a “strict
Victorian lifestyle”
• had a “science wing” on their property
Kevin Guy
Annette Frances Braun (1884-1978)
• 4 monographs on microleps:
Lithocolletis, Elachista,
Bucculatrix, Tischeria (at 88 years
• amazing illustrations using only a
hand lens and ancient microscope
• collected 30 000 specimens of
August Busck (1870-1944)
• educated in Denmark
• worked as a florist, then for
USNM, retired at Bishop
• worked mainly with
American microleps
• Described over 600 spp.
• Did not describe a new
species unless real scientific
or economic need for
• Worked with Walsingham
August Busck (1870-1944)
• Irritated the Brits:
– wrote comments in the London Times about their
unwillingness to accept the Walsingham collection
– Busck about Sir Edwin Lankester: “...he confesses
himself absurdly ignorant on the subject he
undertakes to discuss”
– Lankester shoots back: “we do not require fancy
estimates of cash value of scientific objects from
lepidopterists on the other side of the Atlantic”
From: “Resents American Criticism” New York Times January 2, 1910
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Dr. James Brackenridge Clemens (1825-1867)
• Physician educated at the University of
• fascinated by all leps, especially good at
rearing micros with detailed notes
• thought Darwin’s theory of evolution was
“flatly contradicted by all our physiological
Clemens in various letters to T. S. Stainton
Dr. James Brackenridge Clemens (1825-1867)
“a study in which the artist's pencil comes to be an
indispensible aid does not deserve the name of a
“[the Tortricidae] is probably the
most difficult, in a systematic
point of view, and the least
interesting family in the order of
Clemens in a letter to T. S. Stainton
William Henry Edwards (1822-1909)
Weeks, A. G. 1910. Illustrations of diurnal lepidoptera.
• studied law, then became pres. of the
Ohio and Kanawha Coal Co.
• His book “Voyage Up R. Amazon”
inspired Wallace & Bates to visit the
• specialized in diurnal leps
• “The Butterflies of North America”
• Over 250 scientific papers
• Corresponded with Darwin,
• Challenged Shakespeare’s authorship
William Henry Edwards (1822-1909)
• “It is not worth while for him to send me any
more insects so miserably put up, and of such
common species.”
• [immediately following several paragraphs about
describing species] “I have a singing mouse in a
cage, caught in a trap in my bed room...when he
sings his throat moves like a bird...when he is able
to get out of the cage and run about the room, he
sings all the time.”
in a letter to S. F. Baird. 1960. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. (68) 157-175.
Charles Henry Fernald (1838-1921)
• First college prof of economic
entomology (U. Mass. Amherst)
• Best known for Gypsy Moth work,
Crambidae + Pterophoridae
• Wide diversity of publications
grasses to tuberculosis
• Wife Maria studied Coccoidea, son
Henry first chair Dept. Entomology
Entomology and Zoology at Massachusetts Agricultural College
Charles Henry Fernald (1838-1921)
• Entered Maine Wesleyan Seminary to become
a sea captain
• “The Entomologist who broadens the horizon
of his observations becomes better able to
grasp and comprehend the great problems
presented to him.” – Entomologist’s Monthly
Augustus Radcliffe Grote (1841-1903)
• worked extensively on
North American macroleps,
especially noctuids
• spent his last 20 years in
Germany where he died
• Sold collection to BMNH,
Buffalo Mus., USNM
Achille Guenée (1809-1880)
Described 105 spp. of AB leps
from wealthy family
his collection survived the Franco-Prussian
War, despite Châteaudun being burned
• wrote 6 vol “Species des nocturnes” about
noctuids worldwide
Wilhelm Carl Paul Gottlieb
Heinrich (1880-1955)
• Studied Greek & drama, worked in
business, then studied music
• Worked for USDA
• Nearctic Olethreutinae, Phycitinae,
first to illustrate genitalia for
Nearctic spp.
Smithsonian Institution
Jacob Hübner (1761-1826)
• Designer & engraver, worked in Ukraine at
cotton factory
• Sammlung Europäischer Schmetterlinge
Jacob Hübner (1761-1826)
Cornell U. Mann Library
Kolorierter Stich von de:Jacob Hübner, 1761-1826, aus: Das
kleine Schmetterlingsbuch, Insel Verlag Leipzig, Seite 15
Rev. Dr. George Duryea Hulst
• Studied classics &
theology at Rutgers
• Minister plus
• Missionary in Arabia,
Hong Kong, China, India,
Rev. Dr. George Duryea Hulst
• macro & microlepidoptera, Catocala,
• “He had never had what might be termed a
sick day, and by his lifelong habits of
temperance had retained to a remarkable
degree his boyish activity and sprightliness.”
William Dunning Kearfott (1864-1917)
• Was especially interested in Tortricidae
• A mechanical engineer and well-known expert
in his field
• Had to give up work on microleps due to
failing eyesight
William Dunning Kearfott (1864-1917)
• Developed many nonsense names
– E. bobana E. cocana E. dodana E. fofana...
– P. baracana P. caracana P. daracana P. faracana...
– E. bandana E. candana E. dandana E. fandana...
– E. bomonana E. comonana E. domonana...
• Edward Meyrick was incensed by these names
“based on barbarous and unmeaning
Dr. James Halliday McDunnough (1877-1962)
expert on leps and mayflies
trained to learn violin in Germany
played in Glasgow Orchestra
studied zoology in Germany
worked at Woods Hole Inst.
curator of Barnes collection
well known as a musician in
Decateur, IL
Dr. James Halliday McDunnough (1877-1962)
• 1919 hired to organize the
future CNC, worked for 28
• collected across Canada
• published 313 papers
• 1946 worked at AMNH
• moved to Halifax in 1950
Dr. James Halliday McDunnough (1877-1962)
• “he showed little patience with new ideas and
tended at times to be critical of anything he did
not understand. He shunned meetings and social
gatherings and perhaps for this reason had few
scientific friends apart from immediate
• “[he was] a meticulous person of superior
manners, humour and generosity, combined with
a manner of unusual frankness which, on
occasions, probably led to misunderstandings of
his personality”
Dr. James Halliday McDunnough (1877-1962)
• “most puzzling to me was his total disinterest
in all other aspects of natural history...he did
not even know the names of even the most
familiar birds.”
• “His favourite comment on genetics was the
recitation of a limerick, unquotable in this
context, illustrating Mendelian heredity.”
Alpheus Spring Packard (1839-1905)
• MD from Maine Med School
• prof. of zoology and geology at
Brown U.
• strong proponent of NeoLamarckian evolution
• 3 part Monograph of the
Bombycine Moths of North
Alpheus Spring Packard (1839-1905)
• traveled through US & Labrador, Mexico,
Europe, N. Africa
• “...it was through professor Packard...[I]
became aware of the existence of scientific
activity at Brown University.”
• “To contemplate the prolific labors of
Professor Packard is to stand face to face with
the attribute of genius. I do not wish to make
an overstatement”
John Bernhardt Smith (1858-1912)
• worked as a lawyer, then for
• economic entomologist,
authority on noctuids
• “A bibliography of his
systematic papers would fill
many pages ; it is to be
hoped that such will soon
be prepared”
Francis Walker (1809-1874)
• worked for BMNH 1837-63
• 87 papers, catalogues for
Orthoptera, Neuroptera,
Homoptera, Diptera,
Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera
• one of the most prolific authors
in entomology
Francis Walker (1809-1874)
wealthy & educated family
started collecting at the age of 9
collected all over Europe, esp. in mountains
produced a ridiculous number of synonyms
“More than twenty years too late for his
scientific reputation, and after having done an
amount of injury almost inconceivable in its
immensity, Francis Walker has passed from
among us”
• politician and lord
• coll. of 260 000 specimens
• married 3 times, succeeded as
baron by half-brother
Subba, R. B. R. 1998. History of entomology in India. Institution of Agricultural Technologists, Bangalore.
Thomas de Grey, 6th baron Walsingham
• avid sportsman
• on trip to W. US, collected many
• formed basis for his pterophorid
National Portrait Gallery, London
Thomas de Grey, 6th baron Walsingham
Philipp Christoph Zeller
• taught himself entomology by
copying books
• degree in philology from U. Berlin
• precise orderly approach to
• 13 vol. Natural history of the
• described 186 new genera
• collection in BMNH
Bethune, C. J. S. 1903. Death of Professor Grote. Can Entomol. 35:294
Bethune. C. J. S. 1909. William Henry Edwards. Can. Entomol. 41:215-248
Carrington, J. T. 1874. Entomol. Mon. Mag. 11: 140–141
Ferguson, D. C. 1962. James Halliday McDunnough (1877 – 1962) A Biographical
Obituary and Bibliography. J. Lep. Soc. 16: 209-228.
Gibson, A. 1912. Obituary John Bernhardt Smith. Can. Entomol. 44: 97-99
Gibson, A. 1918. Obituary Notice, William D. Kearfott. Can. Entomol. 50: 71-72.
Gilligan, T. M., Wright, D. J., & Gibson, L. D. 2008. Olethreutine Moths of the
Midwestern United States, An Identification Guide.
Grinstein, L. S., Biermann, C. A., Rose, R. K. 1997. Women in the Biological
Sciences: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group
Kingsley, J. S. & C. Barus. 1905. Alpheus Spring Packard. Science 21: 401-405.
Weeks, A. C. 1900. In Memoriam: Rev. Dr. George D. Hulst. J. N. Y. Ent. Soc. 8:248250.
Other Big Names
Johan Christian Fabricius (1745-1808)
Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778)
William Jacob Holland (1848-1932)
Edward Meyrick (1854-1938)
William Trowbridge Merrifield Forbes (18851968)
Michael Denis (1729-1800) &
Ignaz Schiffermüller (1727-1806)
• Profs at Theresianum College in
• das Systematische Verzeichnis der
Schmetterlinge der Wienergegend
herausgegeben von einigen Lehrern
am k. k. Theresianum (1775)

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