Wolfgang Böhme (zoologist)

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Wolfgang Böhme (born November 21, 1944 in Kiel ) is a German herpetologist .


Böhme grew up in Kiel. In his childhood he kept lizards that he caught himself and preserved them after they died. He attended the humanistic grammar school in his hometown, known as the Kiel School of Academics , from which he graduated from high school. 1965 Böhme began studying at the University of Kiel in zoology , botany and paleontology . In 1971 he did his doctorate under Wolf Herre with a doctoral thesis on the morphology of the hemipenis of the real lizards (Lacertidae) and their importance for the systematics of this group of animals.

Shortly afterwards, Böhme became head of the herpetology section at the Koenig Museum in Bonn . In 1989 he became head of the vertebrate department at Museum Koenig, and in 1992 he was promoted to deputy director of the museum. In 2010 Böhme retired after the Ministry of Science had granted him an additional year in office. His successor is Dennis Rödder .

From the 1980/81 winter semester, Wolfgang Böhme worked in teaching and supervising students at the University of Bonn . In 1988 he completed his habilitation and received the venia legendi . In April 1996 he became an adjunct professor at this university. He supervised numerous master's and doctoral theses.

In addition, Böhme is a member of the German Society for Herpetology and Terrarium Science (DGHT). From 1983 to 1991 he was chairman of the DGHT. In September 1979, Böhme co-founded the Societas Europaea Herpetologica , which publishes the specialist journal Amphibia-Reptilia . In 1993 he was elected president of this association in Barcelona, ​​and in 1997 he was re-elected in Prague for a further four years.


Böhme set up a herpetological working group at the Koenig Museum, which primarily researches various aspects of the biology of reptiles in the West Palearctic, West and Central Africa, Bolivia, Peru, Vietnam and Indonesia. Under his leadership, the museum's herpetological collection has grown from fewer than 9,600 to around 90,000. Most well-known is Boehme's mainly taxonomic work on the monitor lizards ( Varanus ): He is the first to describe twelve species, two subspecies and one subgenus. Together with Thomas Ziegler (1997) revised the internal systematics of the genus based on the hemipenis morphology of the monitor lizards. Böhme described many new species using museum specimens and specimens from the pet trade. Although many of the species he describes come from Indonesia, he has never been able to visit this country. In contrast, six one to three month long expeditions took him to West and Central Africa : in the spring of 1973 and in the winter of 1973/74 to Cameroon , in the winter of 1975/76 to the Senegal and Gambia region , in 1993 to Guinea , in 1998 again to Cameroon and in 1999 while crossing the Sahara in both directions to Morocco , Western Sahara , Mauritania and Senegal. Böhme discovered the Yemen monitor lizard ( Varanus yemenensis ) in a TV documentary in the 1980s. Böhme is editor of the standard work Handbuch der Amphibien und Reptilien Europa .

Axel Kwet describes Wolfgang Böhme as the " most famous control point of the German herpetological scene", where he was also an " important link between amateurs and professionals " after Kwet . He is an important member of the German Society for Herpetology and Terrarium Science (DGHT), and many of his former protégés are known herpetologists today.

Appointments in honor of Wolfgang Boehme

Due to Boehme's central work in the field of herpetology, several newly discovered species have already been named after him, so the Reptile Database lists twelve valid species ( Varanus boehmei , Tropiocolotes wolfgangboehmei , Tropidophorus boehmei , Trapelus boehmei , Tarentola boehmei , Pseudoboodon boehmei , Pachydactus , Lygosoma boehmei , Kinyongia boehmei , Cerastes boehmei and Alsophylax boehmei ) and three valid subspecies (from Darevskia derjugini , Gloydius halys and Phelsuma madagascariensis ).

Selected Works

Wolfgang Böhme published more than 625 scientific papers up to and including 2013 and continues to publish.

  • About the spiny epithelium on the hemipenis lacertid lizards and its systematic importance. Journal for Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 9, pp. 187-223, 1971
  • Herpetology in Bonn (Mertensiella 21), German Society for Herpetology and Terrarium Studies, 2014


  1. a b c d e f Wolfgang Böhme Curriculum Vitae at the Zoological Research Museum Koenig (English), accessed on June 28, 2014
  2. a b c d e Presentation of the members of the DGHT advisory board . elaphe 18 (2): 79-80
  3. a b c A. Koch, K. Philipp & T. Ziegler (2010): The Monitor Man: A Story of Stunning Discoveries and Charismatic Creatures . Biawak, 4 (4): 132-152
  4. a b A. Kwet: Dennis Rödder succeeds Wolfgang Böhme in the Bonn Museum Alexander Koenig ( Memento of the original from March 12, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Retrieved March 3, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.reptilia.de
  5. ↑ Species name “boehmei” in The Reptile Database , accessed on May 4, 2012.
  6. ^ Subspecies name "boehmei" in The Reptile Database , accessed May 4, 2012.
  7. Wolfgang Böhme List of publications at the Zoological Research Museum Koenig (English), accessed on June 28, 2014

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