S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Morant, Mr Walter (entomology)

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

Walter Morant was one of several persons who exhibited South African insects - in his case lepidoptera - at the first few meetings of the Natural History Association of Natal in Durban during 1868. The association is known to have survived for just over three years and from the beginning of 1869 onward only seven meetings were held. Morant delivered talks on two of these occasions, and as these were also the best attended meetings it would appear that he was a good speaker. His first talk, held on 21 June 1869, was titled "Notes on a trip to the Transvaal". The second, in August 1870, dealt with the entomology of the Free State and the Transvaal.

In September 1870 Morant collected two male specimens of the butterfly Lepidochrysops hypopolia (Morant's blue, Family Lycaenidae) near Ladysmith, KwaZuly-Natal. The species is now extinct and the only two specimens, those collected by Morant, are on display in the Natural History Museum, London.

Years later Roland Trimen* of the South African Museum, in the preface to his book South African butterflies... (1887-1889), thanked Morant for sending him several new and rare species of Natal butterflies. These included Lepidochrysops hypopolia, which was described by Trimen and Bowker in 1887.

List of sources:

Lepidochrysops hypopolia. Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepidochrysops_hypopolia on 2018-11-15.

Quickelberge, C. Collections and recollections: The Durban Natural History Museum, 1887-1987. Durban Natural History Museum, 1987.

S[anderson], J. The study of natural history, and the association for its promotion. Natal almanac and yearly register, 1869, pp. 60-66.

Trimen, Roland. South African butterflies: A monograph of the extra-tropical species(3 vols). London: Tr?bner & Co., 1887-1889.

Compiled by: C. Plug