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Riley Charles Valentine

Portrait of Charles Valentine Riley The American scientist and entomologist Charles Valentine Riley (1843-1895) is considered the "father of biological pest control". He began to publish entomological records of American insects in 1863, about which he also made numerous drawings. In 1868 he founded The American Entomologist. He made special contributions to fighting the locusts that caused great damage in many western US states between 1873 and 1877.

French botanist Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888) met Riley in 1873 during his study trip to the United States to investigate the solution to the phylloxera problem, who was then an entomologist for the state Missouri was responsible. Riley advised Planchon on the use of American considerations documents and was one of the first to beat them finishing in front. Riley also unequivocally demonstrated that the insect, as yet unknown in Europe, is identical to the American insect phylloxera was - it had to come from there. Together with Georg Engelmann, Alexis Millardet, Jules Émile Planchon and Pierre Viala he is considered the savior of European viticulture from phylloxera.

Riley contacted the American experts for the French experts nurseries in Missouri, which subsequently delivered millions of documents, mainly to France but also to other countries. Among them were creations by the breeder Hermann who immigrated from Switzerland Hunter (1844-1895). That was not the final solution, as many of them, such as the species Vitis labrusca not tolerate European soils, but a first important step towards problem solving. In 1878, he became an entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture. His pioneering work includes periodic studies cicada "Magicicada" with its 13 or 17 year life cycle. Riley published his research results in 1892 and was able to explain many of the questions at that time through Darwin's theory of evolution. His collection of insects is now owned by the Smithsonian Institution and consists of 115,000 prepared animals of 20,000 species, 2,800 bottles and 3,000 drawers with preparations. He died relatively young from a tragic bicycle accident. Another US entomologist related to the phylloxera was Asa Fitch (1809-1879).

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