J3* Meyrick Types of Microlepidoptera the British Museum (Natural History) London EDWARD MEYRICK i 854-1 938 Frontispiece K Catalogue of the Type Specimens of Microlepidoptera in the British Museum (Natural History) described by Edward Meyrick BY J. Gates Clarke Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine U. Department of Agriculture VOLUME I LONDON PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM Issued 1955 Price: Three pounds : m Sold at The British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road, S. The richness of Meyrick's collections reflects the fact that for almost half a century the great bulk of all critical material, and much other as well, was referred to Meyrick almost as a matter of routine by Commonwealth microlepidopterists and by many others; a specimen identified by Meyrick was no longer a subject of inquiry in so far as its name was concerned, and for almost half a century Meyrick dominated this field. Bainbrigge Fletcher, who spent more than a quarter of a century in that country. Under each genus, except synonyms, is a brief description of che characters. An early list of Microlepidoptera taken by Meyrick and arranged after Staudinger and Wocke V . It was hardly ready for critical examination when war broke out and it had to be sent out of London again for safety, for it was estimated to contain the type specimens of at least ten thousand species. Chief among the contributors from India was the late Fleet Paymaster T. Of the 225 double pages in this volume many are left blank for the addition of new genera.
In 1945 there was in the Department nobody available to undertake this work. Gates Clarke, who was already a microlepi- dopterist of wide experience, was therefore most opportune, for it led to his being seconded by the United States Department of Agriculture for duty in the British Museum (Natural History) for a period of two and a half years. A large quantity of material was described from the Khasi Hills, Assam, where it was collected by native collectors. These specimens form the largest part of his collection from these regions, are exquisitely prepared and form the finest section of the collection. 1 It is not known how many species of Lepidoptera Meyrick described but I list in this volume 14,199 names of Microlepidoptera, exclusive of Pyralidoids (except the included pterophoridae). In order to work with the insects of this collection, it is necessary to consult frequently many of these catalogues, others less frequently. Most of the descriptions of the species from New 1 Meyrick to Walsingham in lift., Ramsbury, Hungerford, Wiltshire, 6.2.84. Approximately 8000 of these were described in the first four and part of the fifth volumes of Exotic Microlepidoptera. In the following pages I deal with a few of the more important catalogues in detail, and all are listed below: No. Index to genera and species, cross references to Nos. The following is a quotation from a letter addressed to Lord Walsingham. I should like, in the interests of science generally, to supply you with types of as many species as possible, which might serve to illustrate my descriptions. The Hawaiian species were described in Pacific Entomological Survey, Pub. 28, 1934 and in Exotic Microlepidoptera, and most of the types are deposited in Hawaii. The descriptions of species described in later years, however, are to be found scattered throughout the several volumes of Exotic Microlepidoptera. Seventy-six species from Southern Argentina and Chile were described in the Anales del Musec Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires, vol. It would afford me much more satis- faction to endeavour to form such a collection to be placed in your hands, than to allow my specimens to be placed in the British Museum, where they would be lost in the general confusion." Later, 2 however, Meyrick leaves no doubt about the ultimate disposition of his valuable collection. For a knowledge of the African fauna we are indebted primarily to Dr. Types of these last species are in the British Museum and the Belgian Congo Museum at Tervueren, Belgium. 1, 1931, the remainder in Exotic Microlepidoptera and one or two other papers. This study has been undertaken as a joint project of the British Museum (Natural History), the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, U. Department of Agriculture, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. The Meyrick material in the British Museum consists of two parts; that placed in the Museum by Meyrick when he described species from Museum material, or specimens that found their way to the Museum in acquisitions, such as the Paravicini Collection; and that which was acquired when Meyrick's personal collection was given to the British Museum after his death. George Expedition 1924-5) and the Hawaiian Islands. The types of the species from these early collections are distributed in the Transvaal Museum-, Pretoria, the South African Museum at Cape Town and the Meyrick Collection. The vast preponderance of South American, and some North American, material was supplied by H. Actually these, and the species contributed by Eugene Le Moult from French Guiana, constitute a large percentage of the known South American forms.
No one appears to know when Meyrick decided to deposit his collection in the British Museum, but certainly it was not always his intention to do so. The Papuan and Pacific Islands species, exclusive of those from the Hawaiian Islands, were described in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London. Most of the species were described INTRODUCTION 3 in the Annals of the Transvaal Museum and the Annals of the South African Museum. Brazilian species and a few hundred from other South American localities comprise the known fauna from that region.
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The series begin in the upper left-hand corner of the lid of each box. I — 2 I 2 INTRODUCTION Zealand occur in the Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, those from Australia being published in the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. It must be borne in mind, however, that the sources of supply were many and varied and types are scattered in numerous places, some of them unknown. A list of South African Microlepidoptera numbered serially, with index. References are given for most species and localities for all. The index of 15 pages is inserted at the end of the volume.