Marsham's Dor Beetle

Thomas Marsham (1760s-1819)) was one of the fathers of British beetle studies, his book Entomologia Britannica published in 1802 contained the descriptions of many beetles new to science. Most of the beetle collection on which he based his book was sold at auction in 1819 and 1820, and was purchased by J.F. Stevens (1792-1852) and later given to the Natural History Museum, London. However, the Dor beetles were believed lost or destroyed.

One day whilst reading a copy of Marsham’s book that belonged to the patron of our insect collections, the Rev. Frederick W. Hope (1797-1862) I noticed that Hope had annotated the Dor beetle section: “bought at the sale 1820”. After some investigations in our collections I managed to track down all the Dor beetles mentioned in Marsham’s book, rediscovering specimens thought lost for over 180 years - a wonderful find!

Darren Mann, Hope Entomological Collections