Milton W. Sanderson 1910-2012


Milt Sanderson in his 98th year.


Dr. Milt Sanderson passed away on 12 December 2012. Milt was widely renown as a specialist on the genus Phyllophaga (Melolonthinae), and he conducted most of his work at the Illinois Natural History Survey. He first encountered scarabs as a child, when he caught Cotinis nitida in Oklahoma, tied string to their legs, and flew them as kites. He began his studies in 1928 when he entered the University of Kansas and received a PhD. He was interested in Phyllophaga from the start and began collecting and publishing papers about them. His first full time job was at the University of Arkansas, where he worked on white grubs (Phyllophaga spp. and Cyclocephala spp.). From there, he began work at the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1942, but, being a state agency, much of his work was "directed", meaning that he could not devote as much time to Phyllophaga as he would have wished. He authored nearly 100 papers and seven books. He retired in 1975 but conducted his own post-retirement studies of aquatic Hemiptera and wild flowers. Upon moving to Pennsylvania, in 1993, he continued his botanical studies. With the assistance of his wife Carol, he focused his attention on the wildflowers of central Pennsylvania, and sent the results to the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. The Sandersons also published two editions of "A Guide to Common Pennsylvania Wildflowers.” In 1985 he gave all of his Phyllophaga specimens, notes, and literature to Dr. Robert Woodruff at the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. The 1989 volume on the Phyllophaga of Florida (Arthropods of Florida 13: 1-226) by Woodruff and Beck is dedicated to Milt.

Comments about this site can be sent to Brett Ratcliffe
Site generated on: 01/JAN/1998
This website is continuously updated
University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum - Division of Entomology