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
ANDERSON, Mrs I or J.B. d. 1933

Presented 39 beetles from Argentina to the NHM, 1930/31 and the Museum received a further 100 in 1933 from her estate. (MD 8/17)


6 beetles among various insects collected by Anderson in Africa, Florida and England were part of the Imperial Bureau of Entomology gift to the NHM in February 1921. (MD 8/17)

ANDERSON, Roy (Robert) b. 10 February 1947

Educated at Annadale Grammar School and Queen's University, Belfast. His primary degree is in Pure Chemistry (2.1 Hons). Wrote his postgraduate thesis on 'Nitrogen metabolism of hormone-stimulated, folate-deficient, chick oviduct' before working for the N. Ireland Department of Agriculture, as an agricultural chemist. In retirement (2007) he has taken up work full-time on the systematics and biogeography of not just Coleoptera but non-marine Mollusca, Isopoda, Chilopoda, Diplopoda and Ascomycotina (Fungi). He works part-time as a consultant on environmental matters with the N. Ireland Environment Agency, National Parks and Wildlife Agency, Republic of Ireland and numerous ngos and commercial firms.

Since retiring he has become a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (2008) and has co-authored the Royal Entomological Society Handbook (12: Parts 7, 8) on Staphylinidae Oxyporinae to Staphylininae (2011) with Derek Lott and Slugs of Britain & Ireland. Identi­fication, understanding and control (2014), with Ben Rowson and others.

He has also published widely on British and Irish Carabidae including: 'Hidden species within the genus Ocys Stephens: the widespread species O. harpaloides (Audinet-Serville) and O. tachysoides (Antoine) (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Bembidiini)' with D.R.Maddison. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, 2016, 63(2): 287–301,; 'Temporal and spatial variation in carabid assemblages from the United Kingdom Environmental Change Network' with W.A.Scott. Biological Conservation, 2003, 110,  197-210;  'Proteinus crenulatus Pandellé (Staphylinidae) new to Ireland with a comment on separation from other Proteinus'. The Coleopterist 23(3): 149; 'Bisnius subuliformis (Gravenhorst) and Quedius nigrocaeruleus Fauvel (Staphylinidae) new to Ireland, from bird boxes', with Bryan, M.D. The Coleopterist, 2013, 22(3): 116; and The beetles of decaying wood in Ireland. A provisional annotated checklist of saproxylic Coleoptera. with K.N.A Alexander, Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 65. 2012,, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin, Ireland). To date he has added 87 species of Coleoptera to the Irish list and published 265 articles and papers on a variety of subjects, 147 of these on Coleoptera.

Anderson's own collection includes about 7,000 specimens of Irish Coleoptera in all groups, and about 500 specimens from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Israel, Kenya and Alaska. It includes types of Poophylax villosa Anderson & Fuller (2005) from the Falkland Isles. Specimens collected by him may also be found in the collections of the Ulster Museum and the British Museum.

Present address is 1 Belvoirview Park, Belfast BT8 7BL, N. Ireland. (RA 8/17)


Member of the African Entomological Research Committe in 1912 when he presented 211 Coleoptera to the NHM. More than 1,000 beetles (some paratypes) he had collected in company with other entomologists in various countries including Jamaica, Africa, Punjab, Sumatra and Fiji were part of the Imperial Bureau of Entomology gifts to the same Museum at various dates between 1920 and  1927. (MD 8/17)

ANDREWES, Henry Leslie d. 1946

Nephew of H.E.Andrewes. His main interests were Lepidoptera and Aculeate Hymenoptera but he also collected beetles. Horn,W. and Kahle,I. (1935-37) notice that part of a collection of Coleoptera he made in India passed to the NHM via H.B.Andrewes and that single specimens were sold by Janson and Sons. Amongst a collection of British Hymenoptera in the Dorset County Museum at Dorchester acquired from Andrewes are two boxes of British Beetles. There is another collection formed by Andrewes in the University of Hull, Department of Zoolooy (information from Roger Key). The beetle Neocollyris andrewesi Horn is named after him. There is a short obituary in Proc.RESL,(C) 13, 1949, p.66 (from information supplied by G.M.Spooner). (MD 7.01)

ANDREWES, Herbert Edward 1863-1950

E.B.Britten writing in the EMM., 87, 1951, p.64 noticed that 'in the space of twenty-years beginning at the age of 55 Mr Andrewes achieved a world reputation as an authority on oriental Carabidae. He trained originally in forestry at Nancy and then moved to the Indian Forestry Service in 1885. After a few years, however, he was forced to give this up because of eye trouble and he returned to England to start in business. By this time his interest in beetles was beginning to assert itself and at the suggestion of Sir Guy Marshall he retired early in order to specialise in Carabidae at the NHM. He continued to work in the entomology section there until after the war when his sight finally failed altogether.

Andrewes published his first article: ‘Papers on Oriental Carabidae’ in AMNT, 1919, by which time he had clearly already done a considerable amount of work in compiling a catalogue of oriental carabids. This was followed by more than forty further 'Papers' and 'Notes' in this magazine, and by some seventy or so other articles there and elsewhere. These included catalogues of the Carabidae of the Philippines (1926), Ceylon (1928) and India (1930), the last running to 389 pages; revisions of the oriental species of several genera including Tachys (1925); many papers on Sumatran, Javanese, Samoan and other oriental faunas including that of India; and keys to many of the Indian genera. He also published two volumes in the FBI series on Carabinae(1929) and Harpalinae (1935), and was responsible for the volume on Carabidae in The Generic Names of British Insects series published by the RESL (l939). In preparing the last he designated, selected and fixed the types of many of our genera.

Andrewes presented his extensive collections to the NHM in batches from 1923. Riley,N.D. (1964) noticing that 38,434 specimens were given before the war and a further 35,000 specimens afterwards. Andrewes also gave to the Museum a collection of Coleoptera formed by H. Stevens in Sikkim between 1916 and 1918 amounting to 1,395 specimens. Further collections of Coleoptera including the syntypes of many new species (1915-22) and a collection from India, Burma, New Guinea, Natal, Tennessee, including some syntypes of Jacoby, Horn, and Regimbaurt (1900) (formed with F.W.Andrewes), together with books and bound separata (1945-46) is in the Hope Department (Smith,A.Z. 1986). His main library, however, was presented to the RES. As far as MS material is concerned Harvey, J.M.V., Gilbert, P. and Martin, K.S. (1996) record the existence of 36 cloth files and 2 notebooks consisting of notes on Carabid collections and identifications from private and institutional collections that Andrewes had seen throughout the world, and of a four-volume loose leaf catalogue [Catalogue of Oriental Carabidae] listing collecting localities of material he had seen, in the NHM. They also note the existence of correspondence in the Janson archive. And Smith,A.Z. (1986) records correspondence with Poulton and Notes on Types in the Chevrolat Collection, on Putzey’s Types of Clivina (Hope Collection), and on Types of eastern Carabidae (Hope Collection) at Oxford. Several beetles were named after Andrewes including Agonotrechus andrewesi and Neoblemus andrewesi by Jeannel,1923 and a variety of Calosoma imbricatum Klug. by Breuning, 1928. The genus Andrewesa, named after him by Neotolitzky in 1931, was subsequently synonymised with Bembidium by Andrewes himself.

FRES 1910 until death; Council 1920-22. In 1920 he gave £21 towards the purchase of 41 Queen's Gate. (MD 7.01)


Collected 513 Coleoptera in Java acquired by the NHM in 1898 (MD 8/17)

ANDREWS, William Valentine 11 February 1811 - 1878 Born in Pilton, Somerset. Entered the Coldstream Guards as a private at an early age and eventually rose to the rank of Captain. Subsequently resigned his commission and moved to London, Ontario where he became engaged in the book trade. From thence he moved to the United States and settled in Brooklyn where he spent the last years of his life in the same branch of business. Andrews devoted his leisure time chiefly to the pursuit of entomology. He had ‘a well arranged collection of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera, and a small but well selected library of entomological works’ (Canadian Entomologist, 10, 1878, p.240. Also in Rep.Ent.Soc.Ontario, 10, 1879, pp.35-36). These accounts mention that his collection and library were purchased after his death by Mr John Akhurst of Brooklyn, but Horn,W and Kahle,I (1937) notice that his collection passed via L.R.Reynolds to Fr. J. Psota of Chicago. Andrews' publications mainly concerned Lepidoptera but he did write notes about the Potato Beetle in Sci. Gossip, 11, 1875, pp.161 and 14, 1878, 1-2, pp.118-119, and also published 'Elytra of Dytiscus and Acilius in Psyche, 21 1883, p.126. (Note: there have been and, indeed, still are many important entomologists with the names Andrewes and Andrews. Because their names are frequently mis-spelt, even in obituary notices, I have had great difficulty in sorting them out. I hope that I have interpreted the material correctly and that the three listed were the main coleopterists) (MD 7.01)
ANGAS, George French 1882-1886

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and educated at Tavistock Grammar School in Devon. His father, George Fife Angas (1789-1879), a merchant and banker, held severeal important public postsl. George French Angas worked briefly in a counting house in London and then took art lessons. A tour of the Mediterranean in 1841 resulted in his first book of lithographs. In 1843 he sailed to South Australia and immediately joined an exploring expedition to the Murray River and the Coorong. He travelled widely in New Zealand and in 1845 held exhibitions in Adelaide and Sydney. He also visited the Illawarra region before returning to England in 1846. In 1847 he produced two folios of hand-coloured lithographs: South Australia Illustrated and The New Zealanders Illustrated. He also published Savage life and scenes in Australia and New Zealand, which gave an account of his travels. A journey to South Africa in 1848 resulted in a third folio of lithographs, The Kafirs Illustrated.

In 1850 Angas and his wife emigrated to South Australia, where his father had settled two years earlier. He opened a studio in Adelaide. In 1853 he was appointed secretary of the Australian Museum in Sydney, where he acquired a considerable knowledge of conchology. He returned to South Australia in 1860 and was chairman of the district council of Angaston in the Barossa Valley. In 1863 he and his family returned to England and he lived in London for the rest of his life. In his later years his main interest was natural history rather than art and he was an active member of the Zoological Society and the Linnean Society. Presented Coleoptera from South Australia (1861), New Zealand, (1847), Turkey (1849) and South Africa (1848) to the NHM. (MD 8/17)

ANGELL, Gordon Locksley b. 29 July 1927 Born in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and worked for Cyanamid and later BASF UK Ltd. Interested in Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Exopterygota.FRES from 1962 (MD 3/03)