Francis Walker
(1809 - 1874)

Francis Walker is often cited as the entomologist who named the most insects, with 20,000 to his credit or discredit as he is often noted for being very sloppy in his work, sometimes putting the same species into several genera.

In one publication his obituary read:
"More than twenty years too late for his scientific reputation, and after having done an amount of injury to entomology almost inconceivable in its immensity, Francis Walker has passed from among us."

The British Museum was paying him 1 shilling for each new species and 1 pound for each new genus. Perhaps the temptation was too great for him.

In his favour, Walker travelled extensively, amassing much material for the museum, and he published extensively and worked tirelessly.

"He was held in sufficient regard in this country (United States) to have been posthumously elected an honorary member of the California Academy of Sciences, January 3, 1883."

Walker named seven North American Catocala species: relicta, concumbens, electilis, illecta, unijuga, junctura and nuptialis .

He also assigned the names of nurus for previously described amatrix and nuptula for previously described grynea.

His name "selecta" still stands as a form of amatrix. Clearly, with all ten names, he followed the "marriage theme" initiated by Linnaeus.

Return to Classification and Common Names

Return to Main Catocala Index