Carriker, Melbourne Armstrong, 1879-1965

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.

Biographical History

Melbourne Armstrong Carriker, Jr. (1879-1965), was born in Sullivan, Illinois. By the time he graduated from high school, he was collecting bird skins and studying the habits of birds extensively. His interest in bird lice (Mallophaga) began during his freshman year at the University of Nebraska under the guidance of Lawrence Bruner, and Carriker became one of the world's authorities on the neotropical genera. During his career Carriker was responsible for the description of two new families, four new subfamilies, fifty-three new genera and subgenera, and eight hundred sixty-six new species and subspecies. Carriker was prolific in his writing as well. Between 1940 and 1959 he produced thirty-three papers. His papers were published in Spanish as well as English, and he corresponded with Mallophaga systematists all over the world. Carriker collected specimens for some of the most important institutions in the country, including the Carnegie Museum (1902 and 1907-1927); the American Museum of Natural History (1909); the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1929-1938); the United States National Museum (1940-1952); the Peabody Museum; the Field Museum of Natural History; and the Los Angeles County Museum. He traveled to South America extensively on his collecting trips, covering Costa Rica, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Curacao Island, and canvassing Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia almost entirely. From 1907 to 1909, Carriker held the position of assistant curator of birds at the Carnegie Museum. In 1953, he received the honorary post of collaborator in the Department of Entomology, United States National Museum, and he continued his collecting work until the month before his death in 1965.

Related entities

  • Carnegie Museum of natural history: He collected specimens for the Carnegie Museum 1902 and 1907-1927.
  • United States National Museum: He collected specimens for the the United States National Museum, 1940-1952.

Birth Date


Death Date



  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Entomologists


Personal name


  • Ornithologists
  • Entomologists