S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Littledale, Major Harold A P (ornithology)

Born: 1853, Place not known.
Died: 1930, Place not known.

Harold A. P. Littledale, a British soldier and natural historian, was stationed in India towards the end of the nineteenth century, probably mostly in or near present Mumbai (formerly Bombay). He published five papers in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, dealing with "The birds of south Gujerat" [now Gujarat, north of Mumbai] (1886), "Painted sandgrouse near Baroda" [now Vadodara, Gujarat] (1890), "The Bengal watercock..." (1890), "Notes on wild dogs, etc." (1892), and "The blue rock thrush" (1897). In 1895 he collected orchids in Nepal.

After the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) then Lieutenant H.A.P. Littledale of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was for some time stationed at Roberts Heights, a military establishment in south-western Pretoria. In 1906 he became a member of the South African Ornithologists' Union (founded in 1904) and between 1906 and 1911 collected birds' eggs in southern Africa. His specimens went to the Natural History Museum in London. He contributed a paper on "The nesting and other habits of the Cape Widgeon (Nettion capense)" to the union's Journal (Vol. 4(1), pp. 1-15) in 1908. A wider interest in natural history is shown by his presentation of moths collected at Irene, just south of Pretoria, to the Transvaal Museum during 1906-1907. He also collected the type specimen of the whistling rat, Paratomys littledalei (named after him in 1918), a species that occurs in the arid regions of western South Africa and Namibia.

Lieutenant Henry A.P. Littledale of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, most probably the same person, was promoted to Captain from 1 June 1909.

List of sources:

Beolens, B., Watkins, M. & Grayson, M. The eponym dictionary of mammals. JHU Publishing, 2009.

Journal of the South African Ornithologists' Union, 1908, Vol. 4, paper by Littledale; 1909, Vol. 5(3), list of members.

The London Gazette, 9 July 1909, p. 5284. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28269/page/5284/data.pdf on 2018-5-30.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

Transvaal Museum. Annual report for the year 1906-07. (National Archives, Pretoria, Vol. TKP196).

Compiled by: C. Plug