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Biographical entry McCulloch, Allan Riverstone (1885 - 1925)

20 June 1885
Concord, New South Wales, Australia
1 September 1925
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
Icthyologist and Entomologist


Allan McCulloch was regarded as one of the most accurate and talented systemic ichthyologists of his time. His love of nature had developed at an early age and when only thirteen he joined the Australian Museum in Sydney as a volunteer. At first McCulloch was employed as a mechanical assistant there and then was sent on dredging operations to discover fish and crustacean species in the ocean's depths (1906). That same year, McCulloch was appointed head of the vertebrates section at the Museum. Throughout his twenty-seven year career at the Museum, McCulloch went on several other expeditions where he collected insects and other creatures, as well as fish. His collections took place in New South Wales, the Great Barrier Reef and many of the islands off the Queensland coast, and at many Pacific Islands. He also wrote numerous articles for the Museum's Records and other journals such as the Australian Zoologist. In the latter journal he published the Check-list of the fish and fish-like animals of New South Wales (1919) which was later re-issued as the Australian Zoological Handbook No 1 (1922). McCulloch was also a talented photographer and draughtsman who contributed illustrations to several other publications.



1901 - 1906
Career position - Mechanical Assistant to ER Waite at the Australian Museum in Sydney
1906 -
Career position - Assistant in charge of vertebrates at the Australian Museum
Career position - Scientific Assistant on dredging operations off Port Jackson
Career position - Joined the Australian Imperial Force
Career position - Check-list of the fish and fish-like animals of New South Wales published and later re-released as the Australian Zoological Handbook No 1 (1922)
Career position - Expedition to Papua New Guinea
Career position - Travelled to Hawaii to plan the Pan-Pacific Union's fisheries conference

Published resources


  • Musgrave, A., Bibliography of Australian Entomology, 1775-1930, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales., Sydney, 1932, 380 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Walsh, G. P., 'McCulloch, Allan Riverstone (1885-1925), Ichtyologist and Field Naturalist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1986, pp. 244-245. Details


McCarthy, G.J.