Edward Meyrick

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Edward Meyrick
Edward Meyrick.png
Born(1854-11-25)25 November 1854
Thornhanger, Marlborough
Died31 March 1938(1938-03-31) (aged 83)
Citizenship British
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Known forHandbook of British Lepidoptera (1895)
Scientific career
Fields Lepidopterology
Author abbrev. (zoology) Meyrick

Edward Meyrick FRS [1] (25 November 1854, in Ramsbury – 31 March 1938, at Thornhanger, Marlborough [2] ) was an English schoolmaster and amateur entomologist. He was an expert on microlepidoptera and some consider him one of the founders of modern microlepidoptera systematics. [3] [4]

Contents

Life and work

Edward Meyrick came from a Welsh clerical family and was born in Ramsbury on the Kennet to a namesake father. He was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge. [5] He actively pursued his hobby during his schooling, and one colleague stated in 1872 that Meyrick "has not left a lamp, a paling, or a tree unexamined in which a moth could possibly, at any stage of its existence, lie hid." [1] Meyrick began publishing notes on microlepidopterans in 1875, but when in December, 1877 he gained a post at The King's School, Parramatta, New South Wales, there were greater opportunities for indulging his interest. He stayed in Australia for ten years (from 1877 until the end of 1886) [6] working at Sydney Grammar School before returning to England to teach classics at Marlborough College and become a corresponding member of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. He was the author of the Handbook of British Lepidoptera (1895) and of Exotic Microlepidoptera (March 1912 – November 1937), the latter consisting of four complete volumes and part of a fifth. He also wrote a number of short papers. [1]

Meyrick was a life-long member of the Conservative party, and spent twelve years as president of the East Wilts Unionist Association. [1]

Meyrick was a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London and a fellow of the Royal Society. [1] During his lifetime, he may have described more than 20,000 species of Lepidoptera. [1] His huge collection of specimens (over 100,000) is at the Natural History Museum, London. It is believed that he had collected more specimens than anyone else. [7] He encouraged scientific studies by amateurs and in a 1898 article, "Scientific Work in Local Societies ” he pointed out lines of research for members of Natural History Societies. His studies of Australian and New Zealand lepidoptera led him to suggest that the two were not formerly connected. He made use of ideas along the lines of Dollo's laws to postulate principles to use to examine the evolution of the lepidoptera. In his Handbook of British Lepidoptera (1895) he stated that (1) No new organ can be produced except as a modification of some previously existing structure; (2) A lost organ cannot be regained; and (3) A rudimentary organ is rarely re-developed. [1] [8]

Edward Mayrick died after a brief illness and is buried in the churchyard at Ramsbury, Wiltshire. [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Hill, A. W. (1939). "Edward Meyrick. 1854–1938" (PDF). Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society . 2 (7): 531–548. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1939.0014.
  2. Edward Meyrick, B.A., F.R.S., 1854–1938. in Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Volume 68, pp. 141–142.
  3. Robinson, G. (1986). "Edward Meyrick: An unpublished essay on phylogeny". Journal of Natural History. 20 (2): 359–367. doi:10.1080/00222938600770261.
  4. Salmon, Michael A.; Marren, Peter & Harley, Basil (2000). The Aurelian Legacy: British Butterflies and Their Collectors. University of California Press. pp. 191–192. ISBN   978-0-520-22963-1.
  5. "Meyrick, Edward (MRK873E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  6. Clarke, J. F. G. (1955). Catalogue of the Type Specimens of Microlepidoptera in the British Museum (Natural History), Described by Edward Meyrick. Vol. 1. Trustuees of the British Museum, London. 1: 1–354.
  7. Centre, The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research. "Meyrick, Edward – Biographical entry – Encyclopedia of Australian Science". www.eoas.info.
  8. "Edward Meyrick, F.R.S.". Nature. 138 (3499): 874–874. 1936. doi:10.1038/138874a0.