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Biographical entry Laporte, François Louis (1810 - 1880)

25 December 1810
London, England
4 February 1880
East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Diplomat, Entomologist and Icthyologist
Alternative Names
  • Comte de Castelnau (Also known as)
  • Delaporte, François Louis (Also known as)
  • François Louis Nompar de Caumont La Port Comte de Castelnau (Also known as)


François Laporte was born in England and studied natural science in France. He worked as a diplomat in many of the French colonies and was appointed Consul-General for France in Melbourne (1864). He was an avid explorer and collector who travelled to the USA, Canada, South America, South Africa and Asia before arriving in Australia. He studied mainly insects and fish and many of his collected specimens are housed at the National Museum in Melbourne. Laporte was known by many pseudonyms including the all-encompassing François Louis Nompar de Caumont La Port Comte de Castelnau which is believed to be the name on his death certificate. He wrote over ninety books and articles in total under the names of Laporte, Delaporte and Castelnau.



1837 - 1841
Career position - Travelled to the USA (Texas) and Canada
1843 - 1847
Career position - Expedition from Rio de Janeiro to Lima to collect specimens from the Amazon River
1848 - 1856?
Career position - French consul at Bahia, Brazil
1856 - 1858
Career position - Expedition to South Africa and Asia
Life event - Arrived in Australia (Melbourne)
1864 -
Career position - Consul-General for France, Melbourne
Career position - Visits to Sydney and Brisbane

Published resources


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

Book Sections

  • Whitley, G. P., 'Laporte, Francois Louis Nompar De Caumont, Comte De Castelnau (1810-1880), naturalist and diplomat' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 5 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), pp. 64-65. Details

Journal Articles

  • Whitley, G. P., 'Francois Laporte, Count Castelnau, 1810-1880 [includes bibliography of writings]', Australian Zoologist, 13 (2) (1965), 93-102. Details

McCarthy, G.J.