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

He is listed by James (2018) as providing a special contribution (MD 1/22)

ALLIN, James S.

Published 'Pediacus near London' in Ent.mon.Mag., 10, 1873, 19 at which time he lived at 20 Beaumont Square, Mile End Road, London. Collected with G.C.Champion and J.G.Marsh whom he called his friends. Henry Gorham's diary in the Birmingham Museum, covering the period 1867-1896 lists J. Allin as one of the people from whom he received beetles. Allin was also interested in Lepidoptera and a note about Pachnobia alpina in the Scott. Nat., 2, 1873, 162, indicates that he was collecting at Braemar in July 1872. (MD 8/17)


Published the capture of Sphodrus leucophthalmus L. in a jug of water in the cellar of his house Aldridge Cottage, Little Milton, Oxon in August 1945 in Ent.mon.Mag., 81, 1945, 252. (MD 8/17)

ALLSOP, Henry Stuart b. 9 November 1912

Born in Sileby, Leicester. Became Chairman and Managing Director of Timber Decay Co. Retired in November 1977 but continued interested in wood boring Coleoptera. FRES from 1966. (MD 3/03)


Presented 660 beetles from Austria, Java and Borneo to the NHM in 1954/55 after earlier gifts (1933-35) of 216 from Albania and France collected with N.Y. Sandwith and N.D. Simpson respectively.  (MD 8/17)

AMOS, Terence George

Attached to the Victorian Plant Research Institute, Swan Street, Burnley 3121, Victoria, Australia, but worked previously for the Tropical Stored Products Research Centre at Slough. Wrote this Ph.D thesis on 'Studies on the orientation behaviour of Carpophilus hemipterus L. and C. dimidiatus F. and other stored products beetles in humidity gradients' (St. Andrews University, 1965). Subsequently  published 'Some observations on locomotory activity of Carpophilus hemipterus L. and C. dimidiatus F.', Ent.mon.Mag.,103, 1967, 241; 'Some laboratory observations on the rates of development, mortality and oviposition of Dermestes frischii (Kug.) Journal Stored Products Research, 4, 1968, 103-17; 'Some observations on Oryzaephilus surinamensis  (L.) in a temperature-moisture gradient', Ent., 101, 1968, 67-70; and on 'Longevity of Dermestes frischii (Kug.)', Ent.mon.Mag., 107, 1971, 79. He was elected FRES in 1961. (MD 8/17)


Published 'The supply of oxygen to the active flight muscles of Petrognatha gigas (F.) in Ent., 98, 1965, 88-94, with P. L. Miller. At that time he was attached to the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. (MD 8/17)



Published an account of the discovery of  Harmonia quadripunctata (Pont.) in Oxon. in Ent.mon.Mag., 115, 1979, 34, at which time he was attached to the HDO.  (MD 8/17)

AMSDEN, Adrian Francis b. 12 May 1937

Born in London and educated at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate and University College, Cardiff. Served in the Royal Artillery. Between 1961-64 he did postgraduate research and acted as a Demonstrator in Zoology, University College, Cardiff. From 1964 he has worked in the Zoology Department of the NMW, firstly as Assistant Keeper (until 1982) and later as head of the sub-department of entomology.

The first beetle he ever collected was Stenelmis canaliculata Gyll. at Windermere in 1960 which proved to be new to the British list (EMM, 96, 1960, 141-44) 'Unfortunately' he said ' it has not proved possible to keep adding to the British fauna at the same rate since then!'

His work in the museum involved 'the organisation, revision, curation and investigation into the historical significance of the British Coleoptera collections'.  In 1975 he published with G.C.Boon 'C.O.Waterhouse's List of Insects from Silchester', J. Archaeological Science, 2, 1975, 129-36,

FRES 1965. (Information provided by AFA before 2000)

There are 26 pages of correspondence with Colin Johnson in MUNHM (Box 13) dated 1979-1982, 1984-90. (MD 1/22)