S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Leigh, Mr George F (insect collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

George F. Leigh of Durban, a Fellow of the (British) Entomological Society, was one of the first professional insect collectors in South Africa, during the first decade of the twentieth century. Although his methods were rather crude and he did not contribute much to knowledge of the life histories of insects, he collected many specimens, most of which were sold to European institutions. The Transvaal Museum in Pretoria bought collections of insects of various orders from him in 1902 and during 1905-1906. The museum staff must have been satisfied with the specimens, for Mr C.J. Swierstra*, who was in charge of the insect collection, asked Leigh to continue collecting for the museum, but to give more attention to the Orthoptera, Neuroptera, Diptera, and Hemiptera. After collecting for almost a whole year Leigh provided the museum with a fairly representative collection from the neighbourhood of Durban in 1907.

Meanwhile Leigh had been conducting research on a few species of butterflies, leading to the publication of two papers:. “Synepigonic series of Papilio eenea (1902‐3) and Hypolimnas misippus (1904), together with observations on the life‐history of the former." (Ecological Entomology , 1904) and “ Heredity in six families of Papilio dardanus, Brown, Subspecies cenea, Stoll., bred at Durban" (with Edward B. Poulton*; Ecological Entomology, 1909).


List of sources:

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by G.F. Leigh.

Janse, A.J.T. Glimpses of the development of entomological science in South Africa. Journal of the Entomological Society of South Africa, 1940, Vol. 3, pp. 1-8.

Transvaal [Colony]. Transvaal Administration Reports for 1902, pp. I.1-3: Pretoria Museum and Zoological Gardens.

Transvaa Museum. Annual Report, 1905/6, 1906/7. (National Archives, Pretoria, Vol. TKP 196).


Compiled by: C. Plug


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