donhe

I am 86 and retired, and live in Leamington Spa, UK. I have been many things : a Chemist (D. Phil. Oxford 'Some Chemical Applications of Magnetic Resonance', 1963), a Microwave Antenna Designer, an Astronomer, a Numerical Analyst, and a professional Ballroom Dancing Teacher. Currently I am the surviving webmaster of: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/

My friend, colleague and mentor : academic entomologist Stella Crossley and I both emigrated from UK with our respective families to Australia around 1968. I came to a position at Sydney University, Stella to a post at Monash University. We bought houses with gardens respectively in Sydney and Melbourne, and we were both astonished at the variety of caterpillars we found in our gardens. We tried asking local museums  what they were, but were dismissed  after being told that most of the Australian Lepidoptera taxonomy was undertaken at the British Museum on set adult specimens sent back from Australia, and very little was known of their larvae. So Stella and I started photographing and rearing out caterpillars to get adults, and then getting those identified, and in due course we wrote a manuscript for a picture book, which we were going to call '100 Common Australian Caterpillars'.

We toted it around half a dozen publishers, but they each said basically "Who wants a book on grubs? Ugh", so we put it on a shelf, and there it lay for 20 years.

Then around in 1995, my University Department said the staff should each put a webpage about ourselves so that the students would get to know us. I dutifully wrote one, with a mention that I reared caterpillars for a hobby. Then people started emailing me with photos of caterpillars and moths and butterflies, so  I started adding webpages on the caterpillars that we had reared to my university website. Stella and I decided we were not going to make a fortune publishing our book : we might as well put it on the web, and also add the photos that we were sent. And so the Australian Lepidoptera website was born.

In due course I retired from the University, and the Butterfly House at Coffs Harbour kindly agreed to host the webpages on their own website. Stella sadly died in 2007, so now I try to keep the website up-to-date remotely with a lot of help from many kind people who know a lot more entomology than I do, and I keep adding more webpages about more and more species as more and more people take photos and give permission to use them.

Moderator categories

donhe is a moderator for the following categories:

Moths (Lepidoptera)  |  Anthelid moths (Anthelidae) Case moths (Psychidae) Concealer moths (Oecophoridae) Curved-horn moths (all Gelechioidea except Oecophoridae) Emperor moths (Saturniidae) Geometer moths (Geometridae) Hawk moths (Sphingidae) Noctuoid moths (except Arctiinae) Other moths Pyralid or Snout Moths (Pyralidae & Crambidae) Sun moths (Castniidae) Swift and Ghost moths (Hepialidae) Tiger moths (Arctiinae) Tortricid moths (Tortricidae) Wood moths (Cossidae)

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