Malcolm Arthur Smith

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For other people with similar names, see Malcolm Smith (disambiguation)

Malcolm Arthur Smith (1875, New Malden, Surrey – 1958, Ascot) was a herpetologist and physician working in the Malay Peninsula.

Early life[edit]

He was interested in reptiles and amphibians from an early age. After completing a degree in medicine and surgery in London in 1898, he left for the then Kingdom of Siam (today Thailand) as a doctor to the British Embassy in Bangkok.


He went on to become the physician in the royal court of Siam and was a close confidant and a doctor to the royal family.[1] He published his observations on the reptiles and amphibians during his stint there and was in regular correspondence with Boulenger at the Natural History Museum, London. He left in 1925 to continue his studies at the museum in London.

He was the founder and president of the British Herpetological Society which operated from within the Linnean Society.


Malcolm Smith is commemorated in the scientific names of six species of reptiles: Cyrtodactylus malcolmsmithi, Dibamus smithi, Enhydris smithi, Fimbrios smithi, Trimeresurus malcolmi, and Typhlops malcolmi.[2]



  1. ^ Smith MA (1947). A Physician at the Court of Siam.
  2. ^ 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. ("Malcolm/Malcolm Smith", p. 166; "Smith, M.A.", p. 247).

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