Léon Vaillant

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Léon Vaillant

Léon Louis Vaillant (born November 11, 1834 in Paris , † November 24, 1914 in Paris) was a French medic and zoologist . He is best known for his work in the fields of malacology , herpetology and ichthyology .


He was the son of Admiral Auguste Nicolas Vaillant (1793-1858), who took part in the circumnavigation of the world from 1836 to 1837 with La Bonite . LL Vaillant first studied medicine and then zoology in Paris. In 1861 he received his docteur de médecine (doctorate in medicine), but then continued his zoological research under the direction of Henri Milne Edwards (1800-1885). The title of his dissertation was: De la fécondation dans les cryptogames (freely translated: On the fertilization of cryptogames ). He received his doctorate in natural sciences in 1865. With the exception of four short treatises on the anatomy of the amphibians (1862-1863), all of his publications before 1872 dealt with invertebrates. Because at the beginning of his zoological research he worked on invertebrates (Invertebrata).

After the death of Auguste Duméril (1812–1870), who held a professorship for reptiles and fish, he took over the vacant chair for herpetology and ichthyology at the Museum of Natural History . Also Émile Blanchard (1819-1900) applied for this professorship and took over this position temporarily, but eventually was elected in 1875 but LL Vaillant.

He was now responsible for the world's largest collection of reptiles and fish, which his famous predecessors Bernard Germain Étienne Médard de La Ville-sur-Illon, comte de La Cépède (1756-1825) and A. Dumérils had built up. But soon this important collection was in danger. Because of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and the siege of Paris in the spring of 1871. Many of the collection items had to be evacuated and later reinstalled in the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle - LL Vaillant supervised these measures. As soon as they were completed, it was recognized that the number of items in the collection had grown out of their previous accommodations and that new rooms were needed. New buildings were built. These could be moved into in 1889 and LL Vaillant took over the planning and supervision of the move again. In addition to these administrative tasks, he was responsible for the reptile menagerie and the aquarium.

Despite these many tasks, LL Vaillant continued his research, now on reptiles and fish, and received many awards for it. In 1880, 1881 and 1882 he took part in the French explorations at sea with the ships Travailleur and in 1883 with the Talisman . He published a total of around 260 titles. His most elaborate work in herpetology - it was written together with Guillaume Grandidier (1873–1957) - was the volume on the turtles and crocodiles (1910) in the Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar , with excellently designed color plates. With Marie Firmin Bocourt (1819–1904) he wrote the Etudes sur les poissons in 1883 . In 1895 he was chairman of the Société zoologique de France .

Taxa named after Vaillant

  • Oreocryptophis porphyracea vaillanti Sauvage, 1876
  • Chioninia vaillantii Boulenger, 1887
  • Liophidium vaillanti Mocquard, 1901
  • Micrelaps vaillanti Mocquard, 1888


  • L. Vaillant: De la fécondation dans les cryptogames . F. Savy, Paris 1863. Université de Paris. Faculté de médecine. OCLC number: 23624440
  • L. Vaillant, A. Grandidier: Description d'une espéce nouvelle de Chamaeleon de Madagascar . Bull. Soc. philom., Paris (7) 11 (7) (1880), pp. 148-150.
  • L. Vaillant: Reptiles et Batraciens. In: Révoil: Mission dans le pays Comalis, Faune et Flore. Faune et Flore des Pays Comalis, Afr. orient. 1882, p. 10
  • L. Vaillant: Note sur une collection de Reptiles rapporté d'Assinie par M. Chaper. In: Bull. Soc. Philom. (7) viii (1884), pp. 169, 170.
  • L. Vaillant: Sur une Tortue terrestre d'espèce nouvelle, rapportée par M. Humblot au Muséum d'Histoire naturelle . Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Academie des Sciences, Paris. 101 (6) (1885), pp. 440-441.
  • L. Vaillant: Remarques complémentaires sur les tortues gigantesques de Madagascar . In: Comptes Rendus Hebd. Séanc. Adad. Sc. Paris. 100 (1885), pp. 874-877.
  • L. Vaillant: Matériaux pour servir & l'historie herpétologique des Iles Comores . In: Bulletin de la Société Philomathique de Paris. 11 (1887), pp. 131-136.
  • L. Vaillant: Contribution à l'Etude des émydosaurians . In: Catalog raisonné des jacaretinga et alligator de la collection du museum. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris. (3) 10 (1898), pp. 143-212.
  • L. Vaillant: Essai sur le système pileux dans l'espèce humaine. 1861.
  • L. Vaillant: Histoire naturelle des annelés marins et d'eau douce, 1889–1890, Collection des Suites à Buffon
  • L. Vaillant: Les tortues éteintes de l'île Rodriguez d'après les pièces conservées dans les galeries du Muséum. 1893.
  • L. Vaillant: Report on the poissons, crustacés et mollusques. 1880.
  • L. Vaillant: Observations on the constitution géologique de quelques terrains aux environs de Suez. 1865.
  • L. Vaillant: Note sur quelques objets océaniens empruntés au test de différents mollusques. 1868.
  • MF Bocourt, L. Vaillant: Etudes sur les poissons. 1883.

Web links

  • List of academics L'Académie des Sciences et Lettres Montpellier. Since 1846 ( PDF )
  • Short biography in French
  • Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, HoH58 Biographie (PDF; 105 kB)
  • Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, HoH59 Biographie (PDF; 98 kB)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Biographical Etymology of Marine Organism Names. V & W.
  2. ^ Vaillant, Léon-Louis. on: encyclopedia.com
  3. Jump up ↑ Expéditions scientifiques du travailleur et du Talisman pendant les annees 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883. Poissons by Léon Vaillant 4 editions published in 1888 in French