S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Rich, Dr Stephen Gottheil (entomology)

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

Stephen Gottheil Rich, American entomologist, qualified as Bachelor of Science (BSc) at the University of New York and Master of Arts (MA) at Cornell University, and in June 1915 submitted a doctoral dissertation at Cornell University, entitled Comparative anatomy of the gill-chamber of nymphs of Anisoptera [dragonflies].

In 1916 Rich was associated with Adams College, at Adams Mission, just south of Durban, established by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The college, a high school for Zulu pupils, was later named the Amanzimtoti Zulu Training School. He remained there until about 1919 and in that time published a paper on 'Binet-Simon [intelligence] tests on Zulus' in the South African Journal of Science (1917). The paper was also issued as a pamphlet.

According to Janse (1919), Rich commenced a study of the insect order Neuroptera (Lacewings) and was expected to produce a monograph on the subject. During his stay in Natal he published several papers in the South African Journal of Science. One of these dealt with the so-called Blue weed: 'Variation in Ageratum conyzoides (family Compositae)' (1916). The rest dealt with the insect anatomy and taxonomy: 'The respiratory organs of dragon-fly larvae' (1916); 'The respiratory rectum of the nymph of Mesagomphus (Order Odonata)' (1917); 'The respiratory organs of a Notonectid' [backswimmer] (1917); 'Some features of the South African Odonata [dragonflies and damselflies] as a fauna' (1918); 'Are the Odonata of economic value?' (1918); 'Are the Orthoptera and Neuroptera actual orders or conglomerations?' (1918); and 'Physiology of respiration in some aquatic insects' (1919). He (S.G. Rich of Durban) also described the species Pseudomacromia natalensis (Odonata) in The Canadian Entomologist (1921).

Rich became a member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science in 1916. That same year he became a founder member of the South African Biological Society, but was no longer listed as a member in 1920.

Rich should not be confused with what appear to be two other persons with exactly the same names. One was Stephen Gottheil Rich (1890-1958), an American philatelist who wrote The stamps of the Union of South Africa (1920) and Philately of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) (1943). The other was Stephen Gottheil Rich, an American educationist who studied at the School of Education, New York University, and wrote extensively on the sociology of education and the teaching of chemistry and geography. There was also a Stephen G. Rich, who resided in South Africa from 1915 to 1920 and wrote an article on 'Contemporary South Africa' in the Journal of Geography (1926) and who may well be the same person as our entomologist.

List of sources:

Google Scholar, at http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by S.G. Rich.

Janse, A.J.T. The past and present state of entomological research in South Africa. South African Journal of Natural History, 1919, Vol. 1(2), pp. 127-137.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS), at http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Stephen Gottheil Rich.

South African Journal of Natural History, 1918, Vol. 1(1), pp. 8-15: Roll of Foundation Members [of the SA Biological Society]; 1918-1920, Vol. 1-2, papers by Rich.

South African Journal of Science, 1916-1919, papers by Rich and list of members [of the SA Association for the Advancement of Science].

Compiled by: C. Plug