Henry Walter Bates – Entomologist

From Today in Science History:

Henry Walter Bates. Born 8 Feb 1825; died 16 Feb 1892.

H. W. Bates was a naturalist and explorer whose demonstration of the operation of natural selection in animal mimicry (the imitation by a species of other life forms or inanimate objects), published in 1861, gave firm support to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He and Alfred Russel Wallace left England in 1842 to explore and collect insects in the Amazon basin. Bates spent 11 years in Amazonia amassing large collections of insects that were sent back to museums and collectors in Europe. Bates was quick to embrace Darwin’s and Wallace’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Bates’ own theory of mimicry, which now bears his name (Batesian mimicry), provided evidence for evolution by natural selection.

(Images from Wikimedia Commons)

2 Comments to “Henry Walter Bates – Entomologist”

  1. That’s a great link, thank you!

  2. There’s a paper on Bates that gives a biography and summarises his owrk on phasmids here: http://phasmid-study-group.org/en/content/Biographies-Phasmatologists-%E2%80%93-1-Henry-Walter-Bates.


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