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Catalogue of the Type Specimens of Microlepidoptera in the British Museum (Natural History) described by Edward Meyrick. Vol. I-VIII

by Clarke, J.F. Gates

  • Hardback £450.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 37678
  • Published : 1955-1970
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Publisher : BM(NH)
  • Published In : London
  • Illustrations : 1690 b/w plates

Description:

Scarce complete set.

Edward Meyrick (1854-1938,) was an English schoolmaster and micro-lepidopterist. From 1877-1886 he taught in Australia and New Zealand, during this time he amassed a large collection of micro-lepidoptera from these regions. In 1887 he returned to England, becoming a teacher at Marlborough School. He developed an extensive network of international contributors, so his vast collection of 100,000 microlepidoptera also included specimens from the Asiatic region, China, Japan, Formosa, Africa, Madagascar and America. He described over 14,000 species and hundreds of new genera. Meyrick bequeathed his collection to The Natural History Museum, London.

N.D. Riley states in the preface to this work that Meyrick ‘for almost half a century Meyrick dominated this field. However, the use of morphological characters that Meyrick steadfastly refused to recognise began eventually to cast doubts on some of his conclusions, and it became a matter of importance that Meyrick’s type specimens should be re-examined with the aid of the latest techniques’.

The Canadian-American microlepidopterist John Frederick Gates Clarke (1905-1990) was ‘seconded by the United States Department of Agriculture for duty in the British Museum (Natural History) for a period of two and a half years’, to publish a work that would ‘provide the solutions of many taxonomic puzzles’. Initially intended to be published in at least four volumes, the work was finally completed in eight. Alexader B. Klots described this undertaking in the Quarterly Journal of Biology, Vol 31(2), 1956 as ‘certainly one of the largest and most complex, painstaking, and essential studies in modern systematics’, describing the volumes as having ‘monumental importance in the systematics of the taxa concerned in all parts of the world. They will remain for a very long time as outstanding examples of international cooperation and of the highest level of modern systematics’.

Condition

8 vols, roy. 8vo, orig. buckram, minor fading to spines. A very good set.

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