Richard B. Dominick

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Richard Bayard Dominick
Born (1919-09-17)September 17, 1919
Jasper County, South Carolina
Died May 4, 1976(1976-05-04) (aged 56)
McClellanville, South Carolina
Resting place Wedge Plantation
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Yale University
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Occupation Ophthalmologist
Employer Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
Known for Lepidoptery
Spouse(s) Tatiana Djeneeff
Awards Air Medal, Purple Heart

Richard Bayard Dominick (September 17, 1919 - May 4, 1976) was an ophthalmologist, outdoorsman, and amateur lepidopterist. He is best known for his extensive collection of moths and butterflies in South Carolina. He established the Wedge Entomology Research Foundation for the publication of a series of monographs entitled the Moths of America North of Mexico.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

He was born at the family plantation Gregorie Neck[3] on the Coosawhatchie River in Jasper County, South Carolina. As a youth, he collected moths and butterflies in the area.[1][2]

He attended Yale University as a member of Davenport College and was on the Yale college crew. He began to study premedical courses to become a physician.[1][2]

In 1941, his life changed dramatically. The death of his father led to the sale of the family plantation. His early moth collection was donated to the American Museum of Natural History. He joined the Marine Corps as an aviator. During the war he flew a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber in the Pacific. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.[1][2]

After the war, he resumed his studies. He earned his medical degree at Columbia University. He did a surgical residency at Roosevelt Hospital and practiced at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.[1][2]

Outside of his practice, he became an honorary life member of the Peabody Associates and the Explorers Club. He was a scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop in Far Rockaway, New York for four years.[1][2]


On a visit to South Carolina, he rediscovered his boyhood interest in moths and butterflies. Looking at Klot's Field Guide to the Butterfly, he recognized specimens that he had collected as a youth.[1][2]

He and his wife Tatiana purchased the Wedge Plantation near McClellanville, South Carolina. He dedicated himself to collecting and studying moths and butterflies. He built a laboratory with large "bug trap" for the collection of moths. He developed photographic techniques to record his specimens. He discovered new species including Dasychira dominickaria.[1]

During this ten-year period, Dominick collected over 25,000 moths and 1,000 butterflies on the plantation. The Richard B. Dominick Moth and Butterfly Collection with over 1,100 species resides in the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.[4][5]

Richard Dominick established the Wedge Entomological Research Foundation for the publication of a series of monographs entitled the Moths of North America North of Mexico.[1][2]

He was a named a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dominick, Tatiana (January 1985). "Richard Bayward Dominick: 1919 - 1976" (PDF). Wedge Entomological Research Foundation. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Dominick, Oliver S. (October 2004). "Richard Bayard Dominick, 1919-1976". Wedge Entomological Research Foundation. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "Gregorie Neck". South Carolina Plantations. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Richard B. Dominick Moth and Butterfly Collection". Archives. University of South Carolina. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  5. ^ Sanders, Albert E. (1999). Natural History Investigations in South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. p. 224. ISBN 1-57003-278-5.