Dr. Harrison Gray Dyar Jr. (1866–1929) was an early-20th-century expert in taxonomy and biology of culicid Diptera. At an early age, Dyar became interested in the biology, life history, and taxonomy of Lepidoptera, which he continued throughout his entire career. Dyar pursued his passion for entomology, and during his formative years, professionals sent Lepidoptera specimens to him for identification. As his prominence was well known to Leland Howard, then the honorary curator of the US National Museum of Natural History, he was asked and accepted the position as honorary custodian of Lepidoptera in 1897, which later included periods of service with the US Department of Agriculture Bureau of Entomology and the US Army Officers' Reserve Corps. This position went without stipend and it was Dyar's personal wealth that allowed him to continue his love of entomology. However, the museum did provide limited staff and funds for illustrators, supplies, and travel. In the early 1900s, his interests expanded to include mosquitoes where he concentrated on their life histories and taxonomy. Throughout his career, Dyar often criticized colleagues, both personally and in publications, often with interludes of peace to coauthor articles and books. His legacy of original scientific work is of lasting significance to public health and entomology communities, in recognition of which he was selected as the 2011 AMCA memorial lecture honoree.
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