Edwin S. Leach 1878-1971

 

Edwin R. Leach, 1970, in Piedmont, CA. 
Photo by Barney Streit.

  

Edwin R. Leach was born on May 3, 1878 in Vallejo, California. Despite his interest in entomology and natural history, Leach studied Mining at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in 1901. He operated a copper mine in Trinity County druing the Great Depression and later became the Director of Insurance Securities Inc. He was also the Director of Buttes Gas and Oil Company.

With the help of Fredrick William Nunenmacher, an entomologist and an old friend, Leach decided to collect and conduct research on insects, specifically beetles. He had a particular interest in scarabs, and a special fondness for the genus Pleocoma.  He published a short paper on the genus in 1933 (Two old and two new Pleocomas, Pan-Pacific Entomol. 9: 184 – 187) in which he described two species, P. oregonensis Leach and P. tularensis Leach, and he collected the entire type series of P. sonomae Linsley 1935.  The subspecies Pleocoma dubitalis leachi Linsley 1938 [sic; = dubitabilis], from Colton, Clackmas County, Oregon, also was named for him.

Leach was a member of many scientific organizations, including the Pacific Coast Entomological Society (beginning in 1916). He served as its Treasurer (1931-1942), life member (1943) and an honorary member (1948). He was also a member of the California Academy of Sciences (beginning in 1920), life member (1946), patron (1946), and Fellow (1946).

Ed Leach died on July 22, 1971. Before his death, he donated his insect collection (estimated at 40-50,000 specimens), to the Entomology Department at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Biographical Sketch by Hany Abdoun and Frank Hovore

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