Max E. Badgley
Entomologist, Insect Photographer

Born September 8, 1922--Passed away June 4, 2006

Max Badgley Passed away at his home in Moreno Valley, CA., on June 4, 2006, surrounded by his wife, Paulette Davis, and his children, after a valiant struggle with stomach cancer. He is survived by 5 children--Linda Scott of Ione, California, Mark Badgley of Austin, Texas, Kim Jermain of Moreno Valley, California, Brian Badgley of Bakersfield, California, and Bruce Badgley of Austin, Texas--along with 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Max was born in Jackson, Michigan on Sept. 8, 1922. He became a Motor Machinist Mate in the U.S. Navy during WWII, and met his first wife, Margaret Eakin, of Santa Paula, California, while in the service. His union with Margaret produced all of the children listed above.  Margaret preceded Max in death, after 50 wonderful years of marriage.

When WWII ended, Max joined the staff at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).  There he conducted research in entomology, focusing on biological control methods for integrated pest management. Besides producing a voluminous file of outstanding photographs of exotic insects, he served as Chief Quarantine Officer in the UCR Department of Entomology from 1969 until his retirement in the late 1980s. In that capacity he helped quarantine, document, and photograph insects imported from overseas for agricultural pest management.

One of the insects Mr. Badgley worked with was Aphytis melinus, a parasitic wasp imported from China to combat red scale, a serious ectoparasite of citrus:

Female ovipositing into its host, Aonidiella aurantii.Citrus red scale
Photo © Max E. Badgley, published with permission from the Max E. Badgley Estate.

Another was the parasitic predator, Cryptolaemus montrouzi, that attacks pink hibiscus mealybugs (Maconellicoccus hirsutus.)  Mr. Badgley's photograph of the larval stage of Cryptolaemus montrouzi is shown below:

Larva of  Cryptolaemus montrouzi on pink hibiscus mealybug host
Photo © Max E. Badgley, published with permission of the Max E. Badgley Estate.

These extraordinarily detailed images demonstrate how patient and fastidious Max was in the pursuit of perfection.  His photos, published by London's Natural History Museum, university magazines, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in a wide array of magazines and books on beneficial insects and biological control methodologies, made him famous.

Max Badgley's children loved their father deeply.  Few things tell more about a man's character than the esteem in which his children hold him.  It is their desire that the legacy of photographs left behind by this remarkable man be shared with others.  In this way, the work their father performed will continue to serve mankind. 

Max's son Mark is spearheading this effort.  It happens that Mark played a crucial role in the development of a line of termite interceptors created by EntomoBiotics Inc., a company devoted to the development of advanced biological control methods for urban pest management. Except for his father's influence, Mark might not have become interested in our projects at all.  The debt of gratitude we owe to these men--both the father and the son--is enormous.

When, in 1988, EntomoBiotics Inc. first began collecting live termite specimens all over Texas for analysis in our lab, Mark helped design and set up the company's collection support apparatus.  In the early 1990's, as the company began to design new termite detectors, Mark set up the jigs and fixtures to produce its prototypes in sufficient numbers that could be tested in the field.  Some of those fixtures are marvels of engineering that, today, elicit oohs and aahs from all who see them. Later, in the late 1990's and in first few years of the new millennium, as the company considered various kinds of materials to use in its termite interceptors for termite control, Mark pointed to his father's focus on safe, biological control methods.  In his patient, fastidious way, Mark gently planted intellectual seeds that, before long, led the company to give beneficial nematodes a chance. 

Today, our focus at EntomoBiotics Inc. has shifted from termite control devices to the development of non-toxic, essential plant oil habitat modifiers. As those products are developed for the market, the unseen hand of Max Badgley will continue to influence us in a myriad of ways.

Sadly, the staff at EntomoBiotics Inc. never had the pleasure of meeting Max Badgley face to face. However, we feel we know him well, just by knowing his son.  Mark's experiences growing up as the child of a dedicated student of the insect world, along with the huge collection of insect photos that his father amassed over a lifetime of such dedication, were frequent topics of conversation.

What would be a more appropriate repository for these exotic images than Bugs In The News?  After all, getting special insects into the news was one of Max Badgley's most important goals. Accordingly, with permission from the Max E. Badgley Estate, we plan to publish, over the coming weeks, months, and years, a substantial portion of Max Badgley's collection of photographs of exotic insects. 

A selection of these photographs are published on the present website. Mr. Badgley's photography collection is so large that publishing it in its entirety will be a gigantic task, but we believe it must be shared.  Furthermore, he wanted his photos to be made available in a form that would enable teachers, researchers, and others involved in entomology-related pursuits to take full advantage of them.  That means, to us, that all non-commercial uses must be permitted without cost to the user. 

It also means that "non-commercial use" must be interpreted broadly.  For example, many of Max Badgley's photographs are presently being used by commercial, for-profit entities to illustrate their media content.  As long as the use is illustrative of, and incidental to, the user's main purpose, and the photograph is not offered for sale or being sold in conjunction with that use, it would be permitted even when used by a commercial, for-profit entity.

The Max E. Badgley Estate retains exclusive copyright to each image.  Attribution to Mr. Badgley, referencing the Max E. Badgley Estate, should be made with each non-commercial use following the basic format provided with the photographs shown here. 


All textual content presented in this post was assembled, written and edited by Jerry Cates, EntomoBiotics Inc., who alone is responsible for said content. Questions? Corrections? Comments? BUG ME RIGHT NOW! Contact Jerry via telephone at 512-331-1111 or  via E-mail at