Ernest E. Platt, businessman and naturalist, came to South Africa from England in 1897 and settled in Durban where he founded the Electric Printing Works. In his spare time he bred caterpillars, built up a small but excellent collection, and studied their life history and particularly their food plants. He befriended Professor A.J.T. Janse*, who assisted him with the identification of his specimens. Platt published his findings in 'A list of food plants of South African lepidopterous larvae' in the South African Journal of Natural History (1921, Vol. 3(1), pp. 65-138). His notebooks went to the Transvaal Museum (now the Ditsong Museum of Natural History, Pretoria).
By 1906 Platt was a member of the (Durban, or Natal) Field Naturalists' Society. He became a foundation member of the South African Biological Society in 1916, and a foundation member of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa in 1937. At some time before 1919 he was elected a Fellow of the (British) Entomological Society (FES). His early interests included shooting, motoring, and philately. In later years he became interested in orchids and built up a large collection. He was married to Ethyl, born Shaw, who died in 1950.