John David Digues La Touche

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John David Digues La Touche (5 June 1861 Tours – 6 May 1935, Majorca (at sea)) was an Irish ornithologist, naturalist, and zoologist.[1] La Touche's career was as a customs official in China.[1]

The La Touche family was of Huguenot extraction, however John David Digues La Touche was educated at Downside Abbey, near Bath. He entered the Imperial Maritime Customs Service in China in 1882 where he lived until 1921.[1] He retired to Dublin and later lived in County Wicklow Newtownmountkennedy.

During his time in China, he made extensive ornithological observations and collections, resulting in many important publications.[1] Notably, he wrote the A Handbook of the Birds of Eastern China, consisting of two volumes and altogether ten parts that were published in 1925–1934 (Taylor & Francis, London).[2] He also made other collections, including reptiles and amphibians.[3]

La Touche's free-tailed bat is named for him. A species of Chinese snake, Opisthotropis latouchii, is named in his honor.[4]



  1. ^ a b c d Anonymous (1935). "Obituary: John David Digues La Touche". Ibis. 77 (4): 889–890. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1935.tb01642.x. October, 1935 issue.
  2. ^ "China (East & South)". Avian Review. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ Boulenger, G. A. (1899). "On a Collection of Reptiles and Batrachians made by Mr. J. D. La Touche in N.W. Fokien, China". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1899: 159–172.
  4. ^ 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. ("La Touche", pp. 151-152).