Johann Christian Fabricius

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Johann Christian Fabricius

Johann Christian Fabricius (born January 7, 1745 in Tondern ( Schleswig ), † March 3, 1808 in Kiel ) was a zoologist , he is one of the founders of scientific entomology .


Johann Christian Fabricius was the son of the Tondern doctor Christian Fabricius (1705–1775), who later became chief medicus at Fredriks Hospital Copenhagen, and his wife Anna Cornelia born. Henningsen. He studied together with Johan Zoëga in Uppsala with Carl von Linné from 1762 to 1764 . He led the work of his teacher in the Entomology ( Entomology ) away and established a system of insects, notably on the morphology of the mouthparts. After returning to Copenhagen , he was offered a professorship in economics at the Naturaltheather near Copenhagen at the instigation of his father (1768). Although he accepted this position, he continued his travels with permission, which brought him into contact with many of the most important naturalists of his time. On his return, this institution had been attached to the Copenhagen Academy, where he began lecturing as an economist in 1770. After the natural theater was abolished in 1771, he was offered a chair as associate professor at the university. Here he held lectures in winter until 1775, and spent the summer in London in contact with naturalists, above all the botanists Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks . In 1776 he followed the call of the University of Kiel as a professor of economics and natural and camera sciences , since after the loss of support after the death of his father he could no longer finance his life from his salary only. He also traveled extensively from Kiel and continued to publish as a natural scientist. In the agrarian societies of that time, economic science had a higher biological part, so that the contradiction between his inclinations and activities and his employment was less pronounced than it is today. As an economist, he published little. He married his wife Cäcilie (née Ambrosius) in 1771. The couple had two sons, Johann Christian Eduard (d. 1832) and Thomas Balthasar (1774-1851), who both became doctors, and a daughter who died in 1793 as a result of a fall on the Pont Neuf .

Fabricius made several scientific trips to France, England and Norway to expand his knowledge, especially of entomology. So he came to London for the first time in 1767, where he was able to use the collections of William Hunter for initial descriptions of many insects, which he published in his work Systema entomologiae . As a result, the Huntersche insect collection contains around 400 holotypes , the majority of which were described by Fabricius. However, some species could be described by his friend, the French entomologist Guillaume Antoine Olivier (1756-1814), who visited London in 1789 and also examined the Hunter collections on the recommendation of Fabricius.

Fabricius belonged to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 1794.


  • Systema entomologiae: sistens insectorvm classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationeibus. Flensburg and Leipzig 1775
  • Foundations of the economic sciences , 1778
  • Philosophia entomologica , Hamburgo 1778
  • Genera insectorum; Species insectorum sistens eorum differentias specificas, synonymia auctorum, loca natalia, metamorphosis, etc ... , Hamburgo 1779
  • Species insectorum: exhibentes eorum differentias specificas, synonyma auctorum, loca natalia, metamorphosis, adjectis observationibus, descriptionibus , 2 volumes, 1781
  • On the increase of the population, especially in Denmark , 1781
  • Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta: Secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonimis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus , 5 volumes, 1798
  • Systema antiliatorum , 1805
  • Autobiography of the naturalist Fabricius . In Kieler Blätter, a magazine for the preservation and expansion of the patriotic sense, for 1819, vol. 1, pp. 88–117. (issued from the estate)


Web links