Lobster Tale #9 – Mr Gray’s Mysterious Collector Part-1

In the British Natural History Museum are two specimens of ‘tayatitja’ (pronounced tie-yah-tee-tchah) the smaller southern cousin of lutaralipina, the giant fresh water crayfish or “lobster”. They’ve been there since the late 1830s, but the Museum’s “Keeper” of Zoology, John Edward Gray, didn’t record who sent them to him. After some sleuthing, I’ve narrowed it down to two candidates. The first is Gray’s nephew, Commander Alexander Smith RN.

Read about Smith’s eventful life here at FortySouth Tasmania

Alexander Smith, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Castlemaine, 1861-1864. Reproduced with permission, Parliament of Victoria