Vernon L. Kellogg Mallophaga (Phthiraptera) Collection


Vernon Lyman Kellogg (1867-1937) was born and raised in Kansas. He later attended the University of Kansas, where he obtained his undergraduate degree and later training. During his graduate work, Kellogg was associated with Professor F.H. Snow, a leading naturalist responsible for much early biological exploration of the West. Vernon’s studies under Dr. Snow took him throughout the southwest. He also made important investigations into the vectoring of fungal pathogens to plants by the chinch bug.

Following his graduate studies, which included work at the University of Kansas, Cornell University, Leipzig, and Paris, Dr. Kellogg served as an Entomology professor at the University of Kansas until 1894, at which time he was chosen to fill the Chair of Entomology at Stanford. In addition to building up the Stanford entomology program, Kellogg maintained impressive research activity. His interests were extremely diverse ranging from the systematics of Mallophaga, the work for which he is best known, to papers on eugenics and human heredity. He was a dedicated evolutionary morphologist, strongly influencing students, such as Gordon Ferris in this area. One idea of his, first expounded in 1902, has recently found favor in the systematic community: the idea that lice, the Mallophaga (Chewing Lice) in particular, are derived from within the order Psocoptera. A thorough perusal of his bibliography, which he published himself in 1915, is necessary to understand the breadth and depth of his work. Dr. Kellogg’s contributions to the entomological community include service as a Charter Member of the Entomological Society of America, now the largest entomological society in the world, and a term as President of that society in 1915.

As WWI approached, Kellogg’s published works reflected a growing concern with the global social situation. He eventually left academics to assist in a variety of humanitarian efforts in Belgium, Russia, and Poland during and after the war. When he returned to the United States he took over as Secretary of the National Research Council, serving national scientific interests for many years.

The Collection

The V.L. Kellogg Mallophaga Collection was acquired from Stanford University during the 1960s along with their holdings of Insects of medical and veterinary importance. The collection had been in the care of G.F. Ferris at Stanford for several years and bears his mark as well. However, the bulk of this collection reflects Kellogg’s years of work. It comprises approximately 4600 slide mounted specimens representing species from around the world, including primary types of at least 58 species and secondary types of many more. Many specimens have been assigned numbers which cross reference field notes and lab notes as well as notes in Prof. Kellogg’s personal copy of his contribution to the Genera Insectorum series. The notes in this book also make reference to alcohol-preserved material which is not currently housed in the Essig Museum. It is possible that this material is at the University of Kansas which houses some of Kellogg’s earlier collections. In addition to the Genera Insectorum chapter, some other non-specimen archives are also maintained including field and laboratory notebooks, some professional correspondence, and a few photographs and manuscripts.

Selected bibliography

Kellogg, V.L. and B.L. Chapman, 1899. Mallophaga from the birds of California, in: New Mallophaga, III. Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 6: 53-143.
Kellogg, V.L., 1905. American Insects. H. Holt & Co., New York. 647 p.
Kellogg, V.L., 1908. Mallophaga. In: P. Wytsman, ed – Genera Insectorum, fasc. 66, La Haye.

This selection was adapted from

Osborn, H., 1938. Vernon Lyman Kellogg (1867-1937). Journal of Economic Entomology 31(2): 325-326.
Doane, R.W., 1940. Vernon Lyman Kellogg. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 33(4): 599-607.