Alpheus Spring Packard

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Alpheus Spring Packard Jr.
Packard circa 1888
Born(1839-02-19)February 19, 1839
DiedFebruary 14, 1905(1905-02-14) (aged 65)
Alma materBowdoin College, 1861
Harvard University, 1864
Scientific career
InstitutionsBrown University

Alpheus Spring Packard Jr. LL.D. (February 19, 1839 – February 14, 1905) was an American entomologist and palaeontologist. He described over 500 new animal species – especially butterflies and moths – and was one of the founders of The American Naturalist.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was the son of Alpheus Spring Packard Sr. (1798–1884) and the brother of William Alfred Packard. He was born in Brunswick, Maine, and was Professor of Zoology and Geology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1878 until his death. He was a vocal proponent of Neo-Lamarckism during the eclipse of Darwinism.[2]


His chief work was the classification and anatomy of arthropods, and contributions to economic entomology, zoogeography, and the phylogeny and metamorphoses of insects. Packard was appointed to the United States Entomological Commission in 1877 where he served with Charles Valentine Riley and Cyrus Thomas.[3] He wrote school textbooks, such as Zoölogy for High Schools and Colleges (eleventh edition, 1904). His Monograph of the Bombycine Moths of North America was published in three parts (1895, 1905, 1915, edited by T. D. A. Cockerell).

He was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society in 1878.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Elizabeth Darby Walcott, daughter of Samuel B. Walcott in October 1867 in Salem, Massachusetts.[5][6][7] They would have four children: Martha Walcott, Alpheus Appleton, Elizabeth Darby, and Frances Elizabeth.[8][7] Elizabeth Darby would die at the age of eight.[7] He died on February 14, 1905, in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife and children outliving him.[9]


  • Report on the insects collected on the Penobscot and Alleguash Rivers, during August and September, 1861, Sixth Annual Report of the Secretary of the Maine Board of Agriculture, Augusta, Maine (pp. 373-376) (1861)
  • Guide to the Study of Insects (1869; third edition, 1872)
  • The Mammoth Cave and its Inhabitants (1872), with F. W. Putnam
  • Life-History of Animals (1876)
  • A Naturalist on the Labrador Coast (1891)
  • Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution: His Life and Work (1901), French translation, 1903.
  • Alpheus Spring Packard (1886). First Lessons in Zoology: Adapted for Use in Schools …. Holt.


  1. ^ Cockerell (1920)
  2. ^ Sorenson (1995)
  3. ^ Mallis (1971)
  4. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  5. ^ Kingsley, John Sterling (June 23, 1888). "Sketch of Alpheus Spring Packard". Popular Science Monthly. Vol. 33. New York, New York: D. Appleton & Company. Retrieved March 24, 2023. In 1867 Dr. Packard was married to Elizabeth Derby, the daughter of the late Samuel B. Walcott, of Salem, Mass. He has four children.
  6. ^ Henshaw, Samuel (1887). The entomological writings of Dr. Alpheus Spring Packard. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. p. 5.
  7. ^ a b c Cockerell, Thomas Dru Alison (1920). Biographical Memoir of Alpheus Spring Packard, 1839-1905. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences. p. 194.
  8. ^ "332 South Main Street". Andover Historic Preservation. Archived from the original on September 26, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  9. ^ Kingsley, John Sterling (March 17, 1905). "Alpheus Spring Packard". Science. 21 (533): 401, 404. Bibcode:1905Sci....21..401K. doi:10.1126/science.21.533.401. PMID 17738738. Retrieved March 14, 2023.


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