Péringuey, Louis Albert (1855-1924)
Insect taxonomist (mainly beetles) at the South African
Museum from 1884-1924.
|9 Oct 1855
||Born in Bordeaux, France
||Obtained a masters degree in Sciences at ??
||Collected for museums in Senegal, Gambia and Madagascar for three years.
||Emigrated to South Africa where he initially taught French at the
South African College and the Diocesan College, Cape Town.
||Began working at the South African Museum, as a volunteer, on beetles
||Joined the permanent staff of the S.A. Museum.
||Appointed inspector-general of vineyards.
||Married Bertha Marcellis.
||Became assistant director of the South African Museum.
||Appointed director of the S.A. Museum.
||Started lecturing in forest entomology at the
||Awarded a doctorate in Natural Sciences by the University of the Cape
of Good Hope.
|20 Feb 1924
||Died in Cape Town
Hesse (A Century and a half of entomology at the South African Museum.
Unpublished manuscript): "[Péringuey was] a strongly built, tall and
fearless man, with an energetic, dynamic and dominating personality, with a
strong will which at times made of him something of a bully and which brooked no
gainsay. He was a man with an almost abnormal capacity for work, with great
mental ability and a prodigious memory. These were his positive attributes, but
on the negative side he was short tempered, obstinate, very sensitive to
criticism, had a streak of professional jealousy, was egoistic and to a certain
extent disliked university-educated or qualified people. ... Sometimes Péringuey
could be very petty and revengeful as when, is his dislike for Germans, he
described and named a species of the family Gryllacrididae, which he thought to
be a new genus, "Bochus" and the type species "contemnendus"
(in other words the "Contemptible German"). Many years afterwards an
Austrian authority, who revised the family, found the species to be a synonym of
"punctaticeps", described by a former author under
another and old synonymic genus. The specific name punctaticeps
had to replace contemnendus, but Péringuey's generic name of Bochus still stands. The taxonomic name of this unfortunate
insect is now Bochus punctaticeps, translated as "the
German with the prickly head".
Report on Entomology Department for 1897 (in SAM Annual Report; written by
"I regret to have to say that the work in my department is growing too
large for me. Most of my time is taken up in pinning, labelling, sorting and
drying. The scientific part of my work has to be done at night. An Assistant
would relieve me of the mechanical work, and would enable me to catalogue the
Cabinet and incorporate the foreign insects of which we have so many."