Edward A. Chapin   1894-1969

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Edward A. Chapin


Ed Chapin grew up with an interest in insects and natural history.  He received a Master of Science degree in 1917 from Massachusetts State University in Amherst.   Turned down for military service due to a mild case of childhood polio, he began work for the Bureau of the Biological Survey in Washington, D. C.  He transferred to the Bureau of Animal Industry in 1920 and then to the Bureau of Entomology in 1926 where he became a taxonomist in Coleoptera working at the U. S. National Museum.  He became a curator at the museum in 1934 where he stayed until his retirement in 1954.

While a curator at the USNM, he traveled to Colombia in 1942 and 1946, Jamaica in 1937 and 1941, and Chile in 1945.  He was a specialist in the Scarabaeidae, Cleridae, and Coccinellidae.  At the age of 60 he retired and moved to West Medway, Massachusetts; while there he became an associate of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, working mostly on coccinellids.  After he was 70, he had increasing trouble walking due to the failure of nerves in his legs; he would often fall suddenly and find himself helpless.  When he was 75, while taking one of his walks around his extensive property, he apparently fell and was caught in a grass fire that badly burned him.   He never regained consciousness and died a short time later.

Chapin published 19 papers on Scarabaeidae, and many of these dealt with the fauna of the West Indies.


Muesebeck, C.F.W., R.D. Gordon and B.D. Burks.  1971.  Edward Albert Chapin.   Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 73: 99-104.


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University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum - Division of Entomology