Harold B. White III, Mark F. O'Brien
Northeastern Naturalist 24 (m14), 1-43, (1 October 2017) https://doi.org/10.1656/045.024.m1401
R. Heber Howe Jr. (1875–1932), a New England preparatory school teacher and natural historian, became interested in dragonflies after one of his students found the rare Williamsonia lintneri (Hagen) (Ringed Boghaunter) on school property. Subsequently, Howe quickly became a prominent regional authority on Odonata through his own studies and through his frequent correspondence with E.B. Williamson and other established dragonfly authorities. In 1922, while Howe was drafting an article on the history of W. lintneri, Williamson discovered a second species of Williamsonia, which Howe may have also recognized. Correspondence archived from this period reveals a dispute between Howe and Williamson about naming and describing the new species that peripherally involved Philip P. Calvert and Clarence H. Kennedy, other well-established dragonfly specialists, and Canadian entomologists James H. McDunnough and Edmund M. Walker. Howe's position in the dispute that the new species had previously been named in the literature, though not formally described, did not prevent Williamson from describing and naming Williamsonia fletcheri (Ebony Boghaunter). Yet behind the scenes, expressed in letters, the saga reveals tensions that can develop, exposing personality traits, among specialists with competing interests.