Society history

The cover of the February 1965 Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists' Society

The cover of the February 1965 Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists' Society.

The Society was founded by Leonard Tesch in 1935 as The Entomological Exchange and Correspondence Club, for the purpose of providing a forum through which amateur and young entomologists could exchange not only information, but also equipment and other such items.

In 1937, the name of the group changed to The Amateur Entomologists' Society, which has remained unchanged since then.

The Brimstone butterfly first appeared as the emblem of the Society in 1939. This butterfly is still our emblem today. Our first ever annual exhibition was also held in 1939. The exhibition is annual and has been held at Kempton Park Racecourse since 1988. The outbreak of World War 2 curtailed the activities of the Society for several years, but once hostilities ceased our society went from strength to strength.

Our present journal first appeared as The Bulletin in 1939, and it was also during this year that our first non-periodical publication, a leaflet entitled "Coleoptera Collecting", was produced. Producing low cost entomological publications remains one our main activities today.

The number of members using the Wants and Exchange section of The Bulletin continued to grow, which resulted in the first Wants and Exchange list being produced. This list has appeared almost without break since then.

In 1972, the membership numbers exceeded 1,000 for the first time, and three years later we became a registered charity.

The Society has advised on invertebrate conservation issues for over 40 years, and has been consulted over legislation such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and reviews of this Act.

In 1989 the Bulletin became a bi-monthly journal and now has a colour section alternating with Invertebrate Conservation News.

From early times in the life of the society there was a section for young entomologists. However, during 1996 the independent Bug Club joined the AES to form the current Bug Club which is the junior section of the society. The Bug Club has a separate bi-monthly journal, The Bug Club Magazine which first appeared as an AES periodical in 1997.

In 2005, The Amateur Entomologists Society become affiliated with the Royal Entomological Society. The benefits of this affiliation include access to one of the finest entomological libraries in the world and discount on RES publications.

The society ran a Northern Exhibition in April 2006 and April 2007. The Northern Exhibition exhibition was organised jointly with the Royal Entomological Society.

In 2008, the AES acquired the Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation - a peer-reviewed journal that had been published without break since 1892. From the 2009 membership year, AES Members were able to include the Entomologist's Record among their membership options, in the same way as they currently choose to receive the Bulletin or the Bug Club Magazine.

In 2009, the AES and Royal Entomological Society became partners in running the Bug Club. The club was then run as a joint venture between the two societies.

The AES email newsletter was launched in 2011 as a replacement for the Wants and Exchange list. The email newsletter is sent out monthly and is the primary source of member notices, event information and includes a section where members can place Wanted, For Sale and Exchange advertisements.