Henry Ogg Forbes

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Henry Ogg Forbes (30 January 1851 – 27 October 1932) was a Scottish explorer, ornithologist, and botanist. He also described a new species of spider, Thomisus decipiens.[1]


Forbes was the son of Rev. Alexander Forbes, M.A., and his wife Mary née Ogg,[2] and was born at Drumblade, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.[2] He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh,[3]

Forbes was active primarily in the Moluccas, Sumatra and New Guinea. He served as director of the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand between 1890 and 1893, and eventually moved to Liverpool, England, where he served as a consulting director of museums there until his death.[4]

Henry Ogg Forbes dedicated his book A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago to the zoologist William Alexander Forbes, who died on an expedition to West Africa in 1883. They had been friends and classmate at the University of Edinburgh.[5] Forbes is mentioned in A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.


Henry Ogg Forbes is commemorated in the scientific names of three species of reptiles: Hemidactylus forbesii, Oligodon forbesi, and Sphenomorphus forbesi.[6]



  1. ^ Forbes, H.O. (1883). "On the habits of Thomisus decipiens, a spider from Sumatra". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1883: 586–588.
  2. ^ a b Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Forbes, Henry Ogg". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource 
  3. ^ "FORBES, Dr. Henry Ogg". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 618.
  4. ^ "obit. Dr. H. O. Forbes". Nature. 131 (3309): 460–461. 1 April 1933. doi:10.1038/131460a0.
  5. ^ Forbes, Henry O. (1885). A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago: A Narrative of Travel and Exploration from 1878 to 1883. NY: Harpers & Brothers.
  6. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Forbes, H. O.", pp. 91-92).
  7. ^ IPNI.  H.O.Forbes.

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