Amedeo Terzi, the Italian who drew over 37,000 parasitic insects and spent 3 months in a mosquito infested Italian town to prove a point.
The Italian illustrator and entomologist Amedeo John Engel Terzi (1872 -1956) specialised in Diptera. The true flies. In his lifetime he drew over 37,000 of them. Beautifully. The fly drawing began in the late 1800s when Terzi was asked by Scottish physician, Sir Patrick Manson to work for him as an illustrator at the London School of Tropical Medicine. He went on to draw parasitic insects for 55 books and over 500 publications on the subject. Sir Patrick is known as “Father of Tropical medicine” and is the man who discovered that mosquitoes transmit the disease filariasis to humans. He knew his flies.
In 1900 Terzi went to a malaria-ridden Italian town called Ostia with fellow Italian Louis Sambon (the leading authority on the classification of parasitic tongue worms) and the Scotch parasitologist George Carmichael Low (who discovered that mosquitoes pass on parasites from person to person during the act of biting). The trio spent three months in Ostla and while there, by avoiding mosquitos Carmichael Low demonstrated that they were responsible for malaria transmission. Terzi joined the Natural History Museum in 1902.
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