Thomas Reid Davys Bell

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Thomas Reid Davys Bell (2 May 1863 – 24 June 1948), born in Bandon, Cork, was a lepidopterist, naturalist and forest officer in India.

Cork (city) City in Munster, Ireland

Cork is a city in south-west Ireland, in the province of Munster, which had a population of 125,657 in 2016.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.


Thomas was the youngest in a family of twelve. His early education was in Dresden. [1] He tried to get into the Indian Civil Services but failed. He later wrote entrance exams to Sandhurst and Woolwich, passed but decided not to join the army. He passed the entrance for the Indian Woods and Forest Services and joined the services at Dharwad in 1884, as a Deputy Forest Officer. Here he was in touch with Edward Hamilton Aitken who was in the salt and excise department and James Davidson, collector of the district and along with these keen naturalists he began to study the Lepidoptera. [2] [3] [4] He also made collections of beetles which he passed on to H. E. Andrewes at the British Museum. He was in Sind between 1905 and 1906 but returned to Belgaum. Davidson had moved back to Edinburgh and he moved to live at Karwar, North Kanara District, Bombay, India. A series on the common butterflies of India was started in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society by L.C.H. Young, [5] but discontinued due to his ill-health. Walter Samuel Millard contacted Bell and suggested that he complete the series and Bell reluctantly took up this task. [6] He reared many lepidoptera specimens from larvae collected in the field and published on a variety of topics including a volume (1937) on the Sphingidae in The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma in collaboration with Major F. B. Scott (who was in Assam). In 1911 he was made CIE. He became a Chief Conservator of Forests, Bombay Presidency in 1913, a position he held until his retirement in 1920. He worked on the grasses of the North Kanara region with L. J. Sedgwick, the collection now at St. Xavier's College in Bombay. Sedgwick and Bell founded the Journal of Indian Botany with P.F. Fyson as editor. [7] Later he also took an interest in the orchids and his sister made illustrations of them. He joined a timber business at Sawanthwadi along with a partner who left him with significant financial losses. In 1930 he gave his entire collection of insects to the British Museum. It had 3000 specimens of butterflies, 12000 moths, 1900 Coleoptera, 1720 Hymenoptera and 20 Orthoptera. [1] Several insect species have been described from his collections and named after Bell including:

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst British Army officer initial training centre

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is one of several military academies of the United Kingdom and is the British Army's initial officer training centre. It is located in the town of Sandhurst, Berkshire, though its ceremonial entrance is in Camberley, southwest of London. The Academy's stated aim is to be "the national centre of excellence for leadership". All British Army officers, including late-entry officers who were previously Warrant Officers, as well as other men and women from overseas, are trained at The Academy. Sandhurst is the British Army equivalent of the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, Royal Air Force College Cranwell, and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.

Royal Military Academy, Woolwich military academy in Woolwich, in south-east London

The Royal Military Academy (RMA) at Woolwich, in south-east London, was a British Army military academy for the training of commissioned officers of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers. It later also trained officers of the Royal Corps of Signals and other technical corps. RMA Woolwich was commonly known as "The Shop" because its first building was a converted workshop of the Woolwich Arsenal.

Dharwad City in Karnataka, India

Dharwad is the district headquarters of Dharwad district in the state of Karnataka, India. It was merged with the city of Hubballi in 1961 to form the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad. It covers an area of 200.23 km² and is located 425 km northwest of Bengaluru, on NH-48, between Bengaluru and Pune.

<i>Ambulyx belli</i> species of insect

Ambulyx belli is a species of moth in the family Sphingidae. It was described by Jordan in 1923, and is known from India. It is named after the Indian forest officer and naturalist T.R.D. Bell.

Bell was unmarried and his sister Eva stayed with him for many years until her death in 1941. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 Rao, BR Subba (1998) History of Entomology in India. Institution of Agricultural Technologists, Bangalore.
  2. Davidson, J.; Bell, T R; Aitken, E H (1898). Butterfly Life in the Tropics of India. Psyche. Volume 8. Cambridge Entomological Club. pp. 177–179.
  3. Davidson, J.; Bell, T R; Aitken, E H (1897). The butterflies of the North Canara District of the Bombay Presidency. IV. The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Vol. 11. Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society. pp. 22–63.
  4. Davidson, J.; Bell, T R; Aitken, E H (1896). The butterflies of the North Canara District of the Bombay Presidency. I, II, III. The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Vol. 10. Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society. pp. 237–259, 372–393, 568–584.
  5. Young, L. C. H. (1906–1907). The Common Butterflies of the Plains of India. The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Vol. 16-17. Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society. pp. 570–580. Vol. 17: 418-424, 921-927.
  6. Bell, Thomas Reid Davys (1909–1927). The Common Butterflies of the Plains of India (Including Those Met with in the Hill Stations of the Bombay Presidency). The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Vol. 19-31. Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society. Vol. 19: 16-58, 438-474, 635-682, 846-879, Vol. 20: 279-330, 1115-1136, Vol. 21: 517-544, 740-766, 1131-1157, Vol. 22: 92-100, 320-344, 517-531, Vol. 23: 73-103, 481-497, Vol. 24: 656-672, Vol. 25: 430-453, 636-664, Vol. 26: 98-140,438-487, 750-769, 941-954, Vol. 27: 26-32, 211-227, 431-447, 778-793, Vol: 29: 429-455, 703-717, 921-946, Vol. 30: 132-150, 285-305, 561-586, 822-837, Vol. 31: 323-351, 655-686, 951-974.
  7. Fyson, P.F. (1919). "Editorial". The Journal of Indian Botany. 1 (1): 1–2.