The Science and Practice of Entomology

  • Vincent B. Wigglesworth


Entomology in Great Britain remained for long enough the care of amateurs. A long line of distinguished naturalists whose chief interest lay with the insects runs through the nineteenth century. There was A. H. Haworth (1767–1833), a lawyer by profession, the founder of the first entomological societies in this country; there was William Kirby (1759–1850), Fellow of Gonville and Caius College and rector of Barham in the county of Suffolk for fifty-eight years, who, with William Spence (1783–1860), produced the standard work on insects that was to hold the field for half a century. There was George Newport (1803–54), physician and surgeon, who published a remarkable series of papers on the anatomy and physiology of insects. There was the lawyer’s clerk and engraver John Curtis (1791–1862) and Miss Ormerod (1828–1901) who, in the second half of the century laid the foundations of agricultural entomology in Britain. There was Sir John Lubbock (Lord Avebury) (1834–1913), worthy of remembrance indeed, for it was he who sponsored the Early Closing Act and gave us our bank holidays. As a relaxation from a most active public life, Lubbock laid the groundwork of our knowledge of the sensory physiology of the Hymenoptera; it was Lubbock who proved that bees distinguish colours and can be trained to associate particular colours with the presence of food; that the vision of ants extends into the ultra-violet; and who suggested, far ahead of his time, that ants find their way home by remembering the direction of the sun.


Applied Entomology Entomological Research Woolly Aphis Colonial Empire Close Touch 
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Copyright information

© V. B. Wigglesworth 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent B. Wigglesworth
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Council Unit of Insect PhysiologyUniversity of CambridgeUSA

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