Thalassophilus Whitei

Thomas Vernon Wollaston published this drawing in his book ‘Insecta Maderensia’ in 1854. In the book he thanks Westwood for providing the illustrations, ‘Particularly, however, would I draw attention to the valuable help which I have received from J. O. Westwood, Esq., whose pencil has been so elaborately employed in the figures which I am thus enabled to attach, and by whom many of the minutest of the dissections were accomplished, — with a degree of delicacy, moreover, to which I did not myself at the commencement of this Work (though I have since succeeded in anatomizing the larger portion of them, likewise) lay claim.’

55. Thalassophilus Whitei, Woll. (Tab. II. fig. 5.). Wollaston wrote the following about this species:

‘Apparently one of the rarest of the Madeiran Coleoptera, residing, like the European Blemus areolatus and its allies, beneath shingle in brackish spots, into which it burrows with great dexterity. In spite of my constant researches in these islands I have hitherto captured but a single specimen,—detected, during December 1848, at the edges of a small stream in the island of Porto Santo, known as the Ribeiro de Serra de Fora, at a short distance before it empties itself into the sea. A second example however has been recently communicated to me by M. Rousset,—discovered, I believe, on the beach near Funchal. The Madeiran representative is somewhat more highly coloured than the Porto Santan one, its subapical fascia being more distinctly developed; but whether this is merely accidental, or would hold good on a larger scale, I am unable, in the absence of further evidence, to decide.’

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
watercolour on paper
Common Name
Thalassophilus Whitei
Simple Name
Period Classification
Victorian (1837-1901)
Production Town

Production Date
Production Person Initials
John Obadiah
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

View Full Details

Thalassophilus Whitei Woll