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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60
in various localities in New Hampshire, where Philip was able to collect and observe animals on a daily basis. Back in Hartford, he rode trolleys and bicycles to nearby natural environments to keep his hobby going. An Exeter physics teacher interested in natural history further influenced him, mentor and student often going out on field trips together. His housemaster once found snakes and turtles in his dresser drawer, and when Darlington graduated in 1922, his class yearbook appropriately designated him ''a lover of the woods and fields.''
As a teenager, Philip wanted to collect specimens for science but could not shoot birds because he was too young to obtain a gun license. He turned to beetles, saying, according to his brother Sidney, "No one cared if I collected bugs," and this became his ruling passion over the remainder of his life. (If beetles seem an odd choice for a future great zoologist, it should be remembered that Darwin's favorite group was also the Coleoptera.)
In 1922 Darlington entered Harvard College and took a wide range of courses in zoology and botany. He could hardly wait to get into the tropics (where the great bulk of insect diversity resides) and so postponed his graduate studies for a year to work for the United Fruit Company near Santa Marta, Colombia. Working extensively in the lowlands and in the surrounding mountains, he climbed up into the highest elevations nearby. Returning to Harvard in 1929, he brought with him a large collection of insects and vertebrates, including a surprising diversity of birds, and published his ornithological notes the following year.
Darlington completed his Ph.D. in 1931 with a thesis on the ground beetles (Carabidae) of New Hampshire. He then began an extraordinary series of field expeditions to Australia and the West Indies, bringing back to Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology massive collections of insects, rep-