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rhopalocera malayanaRhopalocera Malayana

a description of the butterflies of the Malay peninsula


William Lucas Distant

Published by West, Newman & Co., London, England.



William Lucas Distant (12 November 1845 Rotherhithe – 4 February 1922 Wanstead) was an English entomologist. A whaling trip with his father in 1867 (he considered 5 August 1867 as the most eventful day in his life) to the Malay Peninsula aroused his interest in natural history, and resulted in the publication of Rhopalocera Malayana (1882–1886), a description of the butterflies of the Malay Peninsula.

Much of Distant's early life was spent working in a London tannery, and while employed there he made two long visits to the Transvaal. The first resulted in the publication of A Naturalist in the Transvaal (1892). The second visit, of some four years, gave him time to amass a large collection of insects, of which many were described in Insecta Transvaaliensia (1900–1911). In 1897 he succeeded James Edmund Harting as editor of The Zoologist. From 1899 to 1920 he was employed by the Natural History Museum, describing many new species found in their collection, and devoting most of his time to the Rhynchota (true bugs) ...

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