Edwin R. Leach, 1970, in Piedmont, CA.
Photo by Barney Streit.
Edwin R. Leach was born on May
3, 1878 in Vallejo, California. Despite his interest in entomology
and natural history, Leach studied Mining at the University
of California, Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in 1901.
He operated a copper mine in Trinity County druing the Great
Depression and later became the Director of Insurance Securities
Inc. He was also the Director of Buttes Gas and Oil Company.
With the help of Fredrick William
Nunenmacher, an entomologist and an old friend, Leach decided
to collect and conduct research on insects, specifically beetles.
He had a particular interest in scarabs, and a special fondness
for the genus Pleocoma. He published a short paper
on the genus in 1933 (Two old and two new Pleocomas,
Pan-Pacific Entomol. 9: 184 187) in which he described
two species, P. oregonensis Leach and P. tularensis
Leach, and he collected the entire type series of P. sonomae
Linsley 1935. The subspecies Pleocoma dubitalis
leachi Linsley 1938 [sic; = dubitabilis], from
Colton, Clackmas County, Oregon, also was named for him.
Leach was a member of many scientific
organizations, including the Pacific Coast Entomological Society
(beginning in 1916). He served as its Treasurer (1931-1942),
life member (1943) and an honorary member (1948). He was also
a member of the California Academy of Sciences (beginning in
1920), life member (1946), patron (1946), and Fellow (1946).
Ed Leach died on July 22, 1971.
Before his death, he donated his insect collection (estimated
at 40-50,000 specimens), to the Entomology Department at the
California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Biographical Sketch by Hany Abdoun
and Frank Hovore