This Day in History: 1927-08-04

Thomas Whitelegge (1850 – 1927) died on this day. He was an English born Australian self-taught naturalist. Despite being brought up in deprived circumstances Whitelegge developed an interest in natural history, becoming knowledgeable on both flora and fauna. Correspondent of Darwin (1878). Whitelegge emigrated to Australia (1882). Joined the Australian Museum as a senior assistant in charge of Lower Invertebrates (1887). Whitelegge collected widely, both plants and animals, supplying numerous specimens of fishes to Ogilby and Waite. He published around 90 papers on subjects including crustaceans, echinoderms, hydrozoans, corals, and worms.

Whitelegge described around 200 species and is honoured in the names of a family and genus of tanaids and in the names of a number of species under whiteleggei and whiteleggii.