James Fletcher

James Fletcher, entomologist, botanist (b at Ashe, Eng 28 Mar 1852; d at Montréal 8 Nov 1908). Fletcher had been a bank clerk (1874-76) and library assistant (1876-86), without formal training in biology, before his appointment as Canada's first official Dominion entomologist and botanist in 1886, after 2 years as an honorary entomologist in Ottawa. He became a recognized specialist on moth, butterfly and weed identification. Through correspondence, he determined the types and number of insect pests in Canada and the damage they caused. The San José Scale Act of 1898, permitting import restrictions and fumigation of insect-infested material and the first federal legislation pertaining to insects, was enacted under his direction. He pressed for government entomological research, instructed the public in practical insect and weed control, established an insect-identification service and founded the Canadian National Collection of insects. The annual reports (1886-1908) and numerous bulletins of the federal Department of Agriculture and many scientific papers illustrate his achievements.