George H. Horn   1840-1897

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George Horn.


George Horn was born in Baltimore, MD in 1840. He received a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1861. Although having begun entomological pursuits in 1860, Horn moved to California where he was commissioned as a surgeon in a cavalry unit of the U. S. army in 1863. He served in the army in California until 1866. Those years in the West gave him many opportunities to collect and study insects. He returned to Philadelphia in 1866 and was elected President of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia in December. That same month he presented a paper to the Academy of Natural Sciences the first of his results accumulated during four years in California. Thus began a long series of papers on Coleoptera that appeared over the next 30 years. At the same time, he established a
successful practice in medicine, especially in obstetrics. He made several visits to study European collections, and in 1888 wrote that "In the Berlin museum they were very kind to me and I had good chance to study the types of Erichson. I can safely say that I have now seen more genera of Melolonthide Scarabaeids than any other person." For nearly 25 years, Horn had a close professional relationship with John LeConte, and both men profited by the knowledge of the other.

He published 265 scientific papers. In his many papers on beetles he established 154 new genera and 1,582 new species. He worked on a wide array of beetles, but for those of studying scarabs, he is most remembered for his 1887 monograph on the Aphodiinae. His collection and library went to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.


Calvert, P. P. 1898. A biographical notice of George Henry Horn. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 1898: i-xxiv.

Henshaw, S. 1898. The entomological writings of George Henry Horn. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 25: 25-72.


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University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum - Division of Entomology