Years ago, as a graduate student taking Dr. Burke's famed insect systematics courses, I found Dr. Burke to be an extremely knowledgeable, no-nonsense professor. Since then, I had the good fortune to come to know him as a kind and warm individual who was always very helpful with the beetle and historical entomological queries I sent his way. I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing earlier this week.

Somewhat surprisingly, the only photos I have of Dr. Burke are from a screen capture I shot during his recent induction as an Honorary Member of The Coleopterists Society

However, I do have photos of a weevil endemic to east-central Texas that was named for Dr. Burke by Anne Howden: 

Isodacrys burkei A. Howden, 1961

Earlier this year, Dr. Burke donated his personal library and papers to Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

Mike Quinn, Austin, TX

On Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Shockley, Floyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:



It is with great sadness that I report that Dr. Horace Burke, formerly of Texas A&M Entomology, passed away yesterday.  He was 90 years old.  Stealing a quote from Bob Anderson who notified us of Horace’s passing:  “He was an expert on anthonomine weevils (among others), a collector and writer of books about natural history exploration. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday and lived a long and fruitful life.”  I know that I had more than one interaction with Horace over the years, mostly by email, but I did meet him in person for a brief “interview” when I almost ended up as Anthony Cognato’s Ph.D. student at A&M many years ago.  He was a pleasant and passionate taxonomist, and I recall we had a great discussion about the “situation” regarding Scolytinae and Platypodinae.


His obituary can be found here:


We will be honoring Dr. Burke and his legacy on the Memorial Wall at the ECN meeting.  So please send any good pictures you might have.  2016 is turning out to be a tough year for the collections and systematics community.





Floyd W. Shockley, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Collections Manager (Acting)

Department of Entomology
National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 165
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Tel (office): 202-633-0982
Fax (office): 202-786-2894
Email:  [log in to unmask]

Staff Website: