Tribute to John Nunn

Thursday, 16 April 2020 – During Afternoon Tea
Beetlemania as collection of thousands is gifted to Lincoln University:

John Nunn is a naturalist who arrived in New Zealand in 1967 from his native England.  Though interested in beetles beforehand, he began to seriously collect at Tinakore Hill nearby his workplace at Lands & Survey, Wellington. During his early years he befriended fellow entomologists Ron Ordish and Ian Townsend. He left for work in Australia in 1969, only to return to work in the Wellington area. During this time, John donated most of his collection to the Dominion Museum (now Te Papa) and retained the weevils. Soon, though, he purchased part of the Luis Pena collection of Chilean Carabidae and had started to make contact with overseas workers like Stefano Straneo. Later, John moved to Dunedin where he and his wife’s family lived and continues his interest in beetles.  He has donated much of his New Zealand material to the New Zealand Arthropod Collection, Landcare Research while much of the foreign material was sent to the Lincoln University Insect Collection. Part of his collection includes a massive amount of material collected in a long-term survey of beetles in Dunedin. Over the years, John developed an international reputation as a local New Zealand beetle specialist by contacting specialists and assisting them with their research, having them study his material for descriptions in taxonomic papers. Many visitors who come to New Zealand have spent time collecting with John, or at least, visit his house to study and borrow material, and discuss beetles.  John has had several species named after him, and the Entomological Society of New Zealand is pleased to honour him at this years’ conference held in Dunedin.

New Zealand beetle named for John:  Paradiglotta nunni Ashe & Ahn (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae)