Thomas Vernon Wollaston FLS (9 March 1822 – 4 January 1878) was a prominent English entomologist and malacologist, becoming especially known for his studies of Coleoptera inhabiting several North Atlantic archipelagoes. He was well-placed socially. His religious beliefs effectively prevented him from supporting Charles Darwin's theories after 1859, but Darwin remained a close friend. Wollaston supported the theory that continental lands had once extended outward farther to encompass some of the island groups he studied.
Thomas Vernon Wollaston was born in Scotter, Lincolnshire, England, in 1822. In 1845 he gained a B.A. degree from Jesus College, Cambridge,and in 1847 he was made a fellow of the Linnean Society.
Wollaston spent the winter of 1847–1848 in Madeira, returning for his Cambridge M.A. graduation in 1849. In the years to 1855 he made four long trips to Madeira.
In 1857 Wollaston returned to the North Atlantic islands, investigating the natural history of the Canary Islands – with Richard Thomas Lowe and John Edward Gray in 1858, returning with Lowe alone in 1859. After a long and rather mysterious absence he returned to the islands in 1866, this time to Cape Verde Islands with Lowe and Gray. Wollaston was a frequent correspondent with the geologist Charles Lyell and their letters are in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Library. Wollaston was also a friendly correspondent with Charles Darwin until 1860. His last trip was to St. Helena with his wife, and Gray.
In 1869, Wollaston married Edith, the youngest daughter of his friend Joseph Shepherd.Following their visit to St. Helena she wrote "Notes on the Lepidoptera of St. Helena, with Descriptions of new Species" which included 37 new species attributed to her.
Wollaston died at Teignmouth, Devon, England, in 1878.
His principal collection of Madeiran Coleoptera was purchased by the then Oxford University Museum (now Oxford University Museum of Natural History) whilst the British Museum purchased his principal collection of Canarian Coleoptera. They are now in the Natural History Museum. Both museums contain duplicate specimens from respective secondary collections. Material can also be found Cambridge University Museum of Zoology, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, and California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.
Wollaston also wrote many short, and some lengthy, papers on North Atlantic archipelago Coleoptera. A paper attributed to Wollaston on the Diptera of Madeira was almost certainly written by Alexander Henry Haliday.
Cape Verde is a group of arid Atlantic islands which are home to a number of birds and reptiles and constitute a unique ecoregion in the World Wildlife Fund classification.
Entomology is the scientific study of insects, a branch of zoology. In the past the term "insect" was vaguer, and historically the definition of entomology included the study of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups or other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, land snails, and slugs. This wider meaning may still be encountered in informal use.
Macaronesia is a collection of four archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the continents of Europe and Africa. Each archipelago is made up of a number of Atlantic oceanic islands formed by seamounts on the ocean floor with peaks above the ocean's surface. The Macaronesian islands belong to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde. Politically, the islands belonging to Portugal and Spain are part of the European Union. Geologically, Macaronesia is part of the African Plate, including the Azores, which mark its edge at the meeting point with the Eurasian and American Plates.
Frederick Smith was a British entomologist who worked at the zoology department of the British Museum from 1849, specialising in the Hymenoptera.
Francis Walker was an English entomologist. He was one of the most prolific authors in entomology, and stirred controversy during his later life as his publications resulted in a huge number of junior synonyms.
James Charles Dale was an English naturalist who devoted almost all of his adult life to entomology.
Frederick William Hope was an English clergyman naturalist, collector and entomologist who founded a professorship at the University of Oxford to which he gifted his entire collections of insects. He described numerous species and was a founder of the Entomological Society of London in 1833 along with John Obadiah Westwood.
Andrew Dickson Murray FRSE FRPSE FLS was a Scottish lawyer, botanist, zoologist and entomologist. Murray studied insects which caused crop damage, specialising in the Coleoptera. In botany, he specialised in the Coniferae, in particular the Pacific rim conifer species.
David Sharp FRS was an English physician and entomologist who worked mainly on Coleoptera. He was among the most prolific publishers in the history of entomology with more than 250 papers that included seven major revisions and reviews and a highly influential work on the structure and modifications of the male genital structures among the beetle families. He was the editor of the Zoological Record for three decades.
William Lucas Distant was an English entomologist.
John Henry Leech was an English entomologist who specialised in Lepidoptera and Coleoptera.
Sinezona semicostata is a species of minute sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk or micromollusk in the family Scissurellidae, the little slit shells.
Geomitra grabhami is a species of air-breathing land snail, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Geomitridae, the hairy snails and their allies.
Hans Pochon (1900–1977) was a Swiss entomologist and an authority on Buprestidae beetles.
Calathus abaxoides is a species of ground beetle from the Platyninae subfamily that is endemic to the Canary Islands.
Macrocoma obscuripes is a species of leaf beetle endemic to the Canary Islands, described by Thomas Vernon Wollaston in 1862.
Macrocoma splendidula is a species of leaf beetle endemic to the Canary Islands, described by Thomas Vernon Wollaston in 1862.
Silvanus inarmatus is a species of beetles of the family Silvanidae. It occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Seychelles and Cape Verde. It is probably an introduced species in Cape Verde. The species was described by Thomas Vernon Wollaston in 1867.
Rev. Hamlet Clark was an English entomologist specialising in Coleoptera, and in particular the Chrysomelidae.