Leon M.H. Fairmaire was a French entomologist who worked in Paris and specialised in the study of Coleoptera (beetles). His book Coleopteres, first published in 1882, continued to appear in later editions to 1923. He also published books or monographs on the Coleoptera of Polynesia (1849), Chili (1859), France (1870), Somalia and East Africa (1887), and Madagaskar (1895-1904). His other books dealt with the insect order Hemiptera (1885) and with the Tenebrionidae family of beetles (1906). In addition to these substantial works he published over 300 papers in French journals between 1843 and 1900, most of them on Coleoptera from all over the world. He also assembled a huge collection of specimens which was later preserved in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. During his career he described hundreds of new species and genera of Coleoptera and numerous species and genera were named in his honour.
Fairmaire contributed "A description of new species of South African Tenebrionidae" to the Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society (1884-1888, Vol. 4, pp. 197-200). In 1893 he donated some Coleoptera to the South African Museum. These had been collected at Obock, on the coast of Djibouti in north-east Africa, though not by Fairmaire. Ten species were new to the museum's collection.