Biographical dictionary

The Biographical Dictionary of British Coleopterists is compiled and maintained by Michael Darby. The Dictionary can be accessed below, and see also the additional information provide by Michael:

Michael would be pleased to hear from anyone wishing to make corrections or alterations to the Dictionary, which will be fully acknowledged. Email Michael Darby or write to Michael at 33 Bedwin Street, SALISBURY, Wiltshire, SP1 3UT.

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Namesort descending Dates Biography
BANKS, Sir Joseph 13 February 1743 - 19 June 1820 There are numerous accounts of Banks, the well known botanist and traveller with Captain Cook and Dr Carl Solander on H.M.S. Endeavour to Australia, including one by a Coleopterist (C. MacKechnie Jarvis, 'Sir Joseph Banks, Bt., K.B. (Naturalist), 1743-1820’ in Proc.SLENHS., 1943-4, pp.60-68). Others are listed in the comprehensive account in the DNB. All mention that Banks collected insects but give little further information. Banks’s collection, which includes Coleoptera, survives in the NHM and is interesting because it contains the types of many species described by Fabricius. In his 'Autobiography' (Trans.ESL., IV, 1845-7.) Fabricius explained that 'from 1772-1775 I spent the winters in Copenhagen and the summers in London. My friends Mr Banks and Dr Solander had returned from their voyage round the world, and had brought with them innumerable specimens of natural history and insects. I now lived very pleasantly. With Banks, Hunter and Drury, I found plenty of objects to engage my time...’. Another entomologist who also regularly visited Banks at this time was C.P.Thunberg. Like Fabricius and Solander, Thunberg was also a pupil of Linnaeus. In 1819, shortly before his death in the following year, Banks's collections passed to the Linnaean Society where they remained until 1863 when they were given to the NHM. Sometime after acquisition the collection was re-housed, all the insects except the Coleoptera which are now stored on the Coleoptera floor, being placed in two twenty drawer cabinets on the Hymenoptera floor. The Coleoptera collection includes 180 species from Brazil, S. Africa, Madeira, India, Siam, China, America, Australia and other countries. Twenty of the Fabrician types are missing and these are listed in the Insect Department Register covering the year 1863, where all the other specimens are also listed. (MD 9/01)
BANNISTER, R.T. d. 1979 General Practioner who lived for many years in Cornwall after his marriage. Collected extensively in the County, his collection and the ledger containing all the information about it, passing to Truro museum after his death. In 1936 he added Trogophloeus (Carpelimus) despectus Baudi to the British list (EMM., 72, 1936, pp.78-9) but subsequently deleted the record because the specimen was lost and he felt unsure of the identification, (ibid., 107, 1971, p.33). He added several species to the Cornish list (ibid., 101, 1965, p.15; 110, 1974, p.252; and 111, 1975, p.22). Bannister also interested himself in Hemiptera, and was a member of the AES. (Information from Mrs Mildred Bannister, his widow). (MD 9/01)

The Acccessions Book (19) in Birmingham Museum, Department of Natural History, lists a collection of insects including Coleoptera from Ceylon given by Bantock on 4 April 1935. He lived at 83 Bristol Road, Birmingham. (MD 8/17)


Collected Rutelinae at Ootacamund (Arrow,G.J., Rutelinae, Desmonycinae, Eu- chirinae, FBI, 1917). This is probably the same Barber who gave ten Coleoptera from Antiqua and three from Dominica to the NHM in 1898. (MD 9/01)

BARBER, J. Published 'The genus Quedius' in Proc. Bristol Nat. Soc., (2), 1866, i, p.95. (MD 9/01)
BARHAM, Clifford Stanley b. 7 June 1934

Born in Purley, Surrey and educated at London University, Queen Mary College. He had collected for thirty years by 1982 and at that time had a moderate sized general collection housed in thirteen cabinets (some home made) totalling 119 drawers. Most families represented, specimens being predominantly of East Anglian or Belgian origin. Others from South East England and various foreign countries including Ascension Island where he travelled on behalf of his employer, the Marconi Company. He has donated various single specimens to museums and private collectors.

Barham has published a number of short notes in the EMM., including 'Harmonia quadripunctata (Pont) in Suffolk and Norfolk' (94, 1958, 161); 'Leistus rufomarginatus Duft. in Norfolk' (97, 1961, 244) and a joint paper with Peter Hammond in Ent. Gaz., Larichobius erichsoni Rosenhauer a species and superfamily new to Britain' (33, 1982,  35-40). He joined the AES in 1957, the BENHS in 1958 and the RES in 1963. Lived in 1982 at 19, Westbury Road, Ipswich, Suffolk. IP4 4PDL.  (Information from C.S.B in 1982.) (MD 8/08)


BARKER, C.N. Insects, chiefly Coleoptera collected in Natal, Chimoio, Mozambique and Grahamstown between 1889 and 1904 were acquired by the HDO in 1903, 1904 and 1907. (Smith, A.Z. 1986 p.102). (MD 9/01)
BARLEE, J.S. Published ‘The water beetle, Acilius sulcatus in Co. Dublin’ in Irish Naturalists Journal, 6, 1937, p.253. (MD 9/01)
BARLOW, Anton Charles b. 25 April 1954

Educated at Whitley Abbey School and worked as a toolmaker/ inspection engineer. His Coleoptera interests centred on the Carabidae and Staphylinidae of Warwickshire and in 1982 he was engaged in preparing material for a study of the Carabidae of heavily worked agricultural land as part of an ecological course at the Open University. Arrangements were being made at that time to house parts of his collection which included a small number of foreign beetles, in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry. Member of the AES and joined the BENHS in 1977. (Information from A.C.B.) (MD 8/17)


BARLOW, Edward Published a number of notes on entomology in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and in India Museum Notes from 1894 including a list of the Melolonthini contained in the collection of the Indian Museum (1899, pp.234-273). (MD 9/01)