Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger

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Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger
Born (1775-11-19)19 November 1775
Died 10 May 1813(1813-05-10) (aged 37)
Nationality German
Scientific career
Institutions Zoological Museum in Berlin

Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger (19 November 1775 – 10 May 1813) was a German entomologist and zoologist.

Illiger was the son of a merchant in Braunschweig. He studied under the entomologist Johann Hellwig, and later worked on the zoological collections of Johann Centurius Hoffmannsegg.[1] Illiger was professor and director of the "zoological museum" (which is the Natural History Museum of Berlin in the present day) from its formation in 1810 until his death.[2][3]

He was the author of "Prodromus systematis mammalium et avium" (1811), which was an overhaul of the Linnaean system.[4][5] It was a major influence on the adoption of the concept of the "family". He also edited the "Magazin für Insektenkunde", widely known as "Illiger's Magazine".[6]

In 1811 he introduced the taxonomic order Proboscidea for elephants, the American mastodon and the woolly mammoth.[7] He also described the subspecies Odobenus rosmarus divergens, commonly known as the Pacific walrus.[8] Illiger's macaw (Promolius maracana; Vieillot, 1816) and Illiger's saddle-back tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis illigeri; Pucheran, 1845) commemorate his name.[9] The botanical genus Illigera (family Hernandiaceae) also bears his name.[10]

Published works

  • Beschreibung einiger neuer Käfer, in: Schneider's entomologisches Magazin (1794) – Description of a new beetle.
  • Nachricht von einer in etlichten Gersten- und Haferfeldern um Braunschweig wahrscheinlich durch Insecten verursachten Verheerung, in: Brauschweigisches Magazin 50 (1795) – News about barley and oat fields near Braunschweig likely devastated by insects.
  • Verzeichniß der Käfer Preußens; outlined by Johann Gottlieb Kugelann (1798) – Directory of beetles found in Prussia.
  • Die Wurmtrocknis des Harzes, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 49-50 (1798) – Bark beetles found in resin.
  • Die Erdmandel, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 2 (1799) – The nutsedge.
  • Versuch einer systematischen vollständigen Terminologie für das Thierreich und Pflanzenreich (1800) – About a systematic complete terminology for the animal and plant kingdoms.
  • Zusätze und Berichte zu Fabricius Systema Eleutheratorum. Magazin fur Insektenkunde 1. viii + 492 pp. (1802) – Additions and comments on Fabricius' "Systema Eleutheratorus".
  • Über die südamerikanischen Gürtelthiere, in: Wiedemann's Archiv für die Zoologie (1804) – About the South American armadillo.
  • Die wilden Pferde in Amerika, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 7/(1805) – Wild horses in America.
  • Nachricht von dem Hornvieh in Paraguay in Südamerika, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 15-16 (1805) – On horned cattle of Paraguay.
  • Nachlese zu den Bemerkungen, Berichtigungen und Zusätzen zu Fabricii Systema Eleutheratorum; Mag. fur Insektenkunde. 6:296-317 (1807) – Information regarding the comments, corrections and additions to Fabricius' "Systema Eleutheratorum".
  • Vorschlag zur Aufnahme im Fabricischen Systeme fehlender Käfergattungen. Magazin für Insektenkunde 6:318-350 (1807).
  • Prodromus Systematis Mammalium et Avium (1811).
  • Überblick der Säugthiere nach ihrer Vertheilung über die Welttheile. Abh. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1804-1811: 39-159 (1815) – Overview of quadrupeds according to their distribution throughout the world.


  • Wilhelm Heß: Illiger, Johann Karl Wilhelm. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Band 14, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1881, S. 23–27.[1]
  1. ^ Illiger, Karl at Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  3. ^ Illiger, Karl In: Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). Band 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5, S. 138 f.
  4. ^ Limonia - Massachusetts, Volume 14
  5. ^ Ray Society, Issue 11
  6. ^ Magazine of Natural History, Volume 8 edited by John Claudius Loudon, Edward Charlesworth, John Denson
  7. ^ Mammals of Africa, Volumes 1-6 by Jonathan Kingdon, David Happold, Thomas Butynski, Michael Hoffmann, Meredith Happold, Jan Kalina
  8. ^ Odobenus rosmarus divergens WoRMS taxon details
  9. ^ The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals by Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, Michael Grayson
  10. ^ Medicinal Plants of China, Korea, and Japan by Christophe Wiart

External links

  • Gaedike, R.; Groll, E. K. & Taeger, A. 2012: Bibliography of the entomological literature from the beginning until 1863 : online database - version 1.0 - Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut.—Bibliography.
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