S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Boneberg, Rev Fr Paschal (zoology)

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

P. Boneberg was a missionary or official of the Roman Catholic Church who travelled in South Africa around 1912. Among others he spent some time at Mariannhill, just south of Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, which was at one time the largest Roman Catholic mission station in South Africa. He appears to have been a knowledgeable collector of reptiles, amphibians and some groups of invertebrates, for during 1912 he sent a collection of zoological material from Mariannhill to the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, which included the following: Several specimens of a new genus and species of frog, which was named Natalobatrachus bonebergi in his honour; various reptiles and rare frogs from Natal; a scorpion from Keilands [presumably Keilands mission, in the Eastern Cape] that was new to the museum's collection; and tadpoles of another new species of frog. The latter were described by the director of the Albany Museum, John Hewitt, as tadpoles with large suctorial oral discs, enabling them to adhere firmly to the rocks of mountain streams at Krantzkloof, Natal, where Boneberg collected them and observed their peculiar leech-like habits. These tadpoles had not been found in Africa before.

Two years later Boneberg published a paper on the habits of some fish-eating spiders of South Africa, "Notizen ueber die Lebensweise einiger suedafrikanischer Wolfspinnen (Thalassius fimbriatus Walck und Thalassius sp.)" in the journal Societas entomologica (1914, Vol. 29, pp. 45-46, 49-51, 53-54). Later he wrote a pamphlet, Ueber Cobraschlangen und die Wirkung von Schlangengift auf die Augen (18 p), which was published in Germany by the Aachener Missionsdruckerei in 1927.

List of sources:

Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. & Jocque, R. African spiders: An identification manual (references). Pretoria: ARC Plant Protection Research Institute, 1997.

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by Paschal Boneberg.

Hewitt, J. Mountain stream tadpoles in Natal. Nature, 1913, Vol. 91.

Union of South Africa, Albany Museum. Annual report for 1912.

Compiled by: C. Plug