Frank Milburn Howlett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frank Milburn Howlett (5 January 1877-20 August 1920) was an entomologist who served as a Second Imperial Entomologist and Imperial Pathological Entomologist in India. He specialized in insects (mainly Diptera - sandflies[1]) and parasitic ticks of medical and veterinary importance.[2]

Howlett was the son of Francis John, a solicitor, and his wife Mary Jane in Wymondham, Norfolk. He studied at Wymondham Grammar School and Bury St. Edmunds Grammar school,[3] and then at Christ's College, Cambridge. He was an assistant master at Edinburgh Academy from 1900-1903 and at Holt Grammar School before being posted as a professor of natural science (which included the teaching of chemistry) at Muir Central College, Allahabad from 1904-1908, initially in a temporary position which was then extended.[4][5] He joined the Imperial Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa in 1907 as Second (ie deputy) Imperial Entomologist and from 1912 as Imperial Pathological Entomologist for the Government of India. He left India during the First World War and worked with the Royal Army Medical College and returned in 1917. One of his most important findings was in noting the attraction of tephritid flies to methyl eugenol, a component that he identified from several others present in citronella oil.[6][7] Howlett later moved to the Agricultural Research Institute at Pune. Howlett was also an athlete and artist but his health was poor during his service in India and he died an early death following a surgical procedure at Mussoorie.[8][9][10]

He assisted Harold Maxwell-Lefroy in writing and illustrating the book, Indian Insect Life. A species of tick, Haemaphysalis howletti described by Warburton in 1913 from a pony in Pakistan and in 1962 it was found on rodents and birds in Pune, Maharashtra.[11] Howlett developed techniques for collecting and preserving insects[12] and for marking insects (houseflies) to study dispersal.[13] Brunetti, named a fly after Howlett as Howlettia (now considered a synonym of Platypalpus Macquart, 1827 of family Hybotidae[14]).[15]


  1. ^ Howlett, F. M. (1915). "A preliminary note on the identification of sandflies". Bulletin of Entomological Research. 6 (3): 293. doi:10.1017/S000748530004356X.
  2. ^ Hewitt, C. Gordon (1916). "A review of applied entomology in the British Empire" (PDF). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 9 (1): 1–33.
  3. ^ "Biographical List of Boys Educated at King Edward VI. Free Grammar School, Bury St. Edmunds, from 1550 to 1900". Bury St. Edmunds: Paul & Mathew. 1908: 200. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Venn, J.A. (1947). Alumni Cantabrigienses. Part II From 1752-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 466.
  5. ^ "A list of official chemical appointments held in Great Britain and Ireland, in India and the colonies". Proceedings of the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland. 30: F001. 1906. doi:10.1039/pg906300f001.
  6. ^ Howlett, F. M. (1915). "Chemical reactions of fruit-flies". Bulletin of Entomological Research. 6 (3): 297. doi:10.1017/S0007485300043571.
  7. ^ Howlett, F.M. (1912). "The effect of oil of citronella on two species of Dacus". Transactions of the Entomological Society of London. 1912: 412–418.
  8. ^ "[Obituaries]". Nature. 106 (2666): 446. 1920. Bibcode:1920Natur.106R.446.. doi:10.1038/106446b0.
  9. ^ Husain, Mohamad Afzal (1938). "Entomology in India, past, present and future" (PDF). Current Science. 6 (8): 422–424.
  10. ^ Verghese, Abraham; Shivananda, T. N.; Jayanthi, P.D.K.; Sreedevi, K. (2013). "Frank Milburn Howlett (1877–1920): discoverer of the Pied Piper's lure for the fruit flies (Tephritidae: Diptera)" (PDF). 105 (2): 260–262. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Dhanda, Vijai (1964). "Description of Immature Stages of Haemaphysalis howletti (Ixodoidea: Ixodidae) and Redescription of Adults". The Journal of Parasitology. 50 (3): 459–465. doi:10.2307/3275856. JSTOR 3275856.
  12. ^ Howlett, F.M. (1910). "On the collection and preservaiton of insects". Parasitology. 3 (4): 485–489. doi:10.1017/S0031182000002316.
  13. ^ Copeman, S.M.; Howlett, F.M.; Merriman, G. (1911). An experimental investigation on the range of flight of flies. Report to the Local Government Board on Public Health. new series 53. pp. 1–9.
  14. ^ Barták, Miroslav; Kubík, Štěpán (2015). "Three new species of European Platypalpus (Diptera, Hybotidae)". ZooKeys (470): 145–155. doi:10.3897/zookeys.470.8967. PMC 4304037. PMID 25632244.
  15. ^ Brunetti, E. (February 1913). "New Indian Empidae". Records of the Indian Museum. 9: 11–45.