Charles Lee Remington

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Charles Lee Remington
Charles Lee Remington233a.jpg
Born(1922-01-19)January 19, 1922
DiedMay 31, 2007(2007-05-31) (aged 85)
Spouse(s)Ellen Mahoney
Parent(s)Maud Remington
Pardon Sheldon

Charles Lee Remington (January 19, 1922 – May 31, 2007) was an American entomologist known for studies of butterflies and moths, a Yale University professor, and is considered the father of modern lepidoptery.[1] He established a Periodical Cicada preserve in Hamden, Connecticut. He developed the insect collection at the Peabody Museum of Natural History.[2]


He was born to Pardon Sheldon and Maud Remington in Reedville, Virginia, on January 19, 1922. His family then moved to St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up collecting butterflies with his father. He did his undergraduate studies at Principia College, where he received a B.S. in 1943. During his military service in World War II, he served as a medical entomologist, throughout the Pacific, researching insect-borne diseases and centipede bites in the Philippines.[3]

After the war, Remington studied for his doctorate at Harvard. He founded the Lepidopterists' Society with Harry Clench and his first wife Jeanne Remington, mother of his three children. Remington also started a friendship with Vladimir Nabokov who was a keen amateur butterfly collector.[3]

He started teaching at Yale University in 1948. For the academic year 1958-59, Remington was a Guggenheim fellow at Oxford University. In the 1960s he proposed that there were geographic regions which he called suture zones where species tended to hybridize with close relatives.[3]

With Richard Bowers and Paul R. Ehrlich he founded Zero Population Growth. He served on the board of advisors of the Carrying Capacity Network[1], which supports immigration reduction.

He died on May 31, 2007, at age 85, in Hamden, Connecticut.[4]


  1. ^ "Recalling Remington, Butterfly and Moth Expert". NPR. June 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-17. This Father's Day, host Debbie Elliott has a remembrance of the father of modern lepidoptery. Yale professor Charles Lee Remington was one of the world's foremost experts on butterflies and moths. He died last month at the age of 85.
  2. ^ "Peabody's insects inspire fascination in scholars far and near". Yale. September 28, 2001. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  3. ^ a b c "Charles Lee Remington, Butterfly Expert, Dies at 85". The New York Times. June 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-21. Charles Lee Remington, the intellectual patriarch of modern American lepidopterology, the scientific study of butterflies and moths, died on May 31 in Hamden, Connecticut. He was 85. His death was confirmed by his wife, Ellen Mahoney.
  4. ^ "In Memoriam: Naturalist Charles L. Remington". Yale. Retrieved 2007-06-17. Charles Lee Remington, emeritus professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, field naturalist and museum curator, died on May 31 at age 85 in Hamden, Connecticut. The Yale scientist was known for his eclectic research interests, excellence in teaching, his facility for integrating comparative information about animals and plants from far-flung sources, and his zeal for mentoring young scientists and introducing children to the world of insects.