Fabricius, Johann Christian
Reference work entry
Johann Fabricius (Fig. 1) was born in Tondern, Denmark, on January 7, 1745. He obtained his university education in Copenhagen and Uppsala, at the latter being a student of Linné. He worked as a professor at the universities of Copenhagen (1770) and Kiel (1775). These professorships (at both universities) were in natural history, economy and finance, evidencing the philosophy of the times. Whereas Linné had general interests in the description and classification of plants and animals, Fabricius specialized in insects. With this specialization, he described and named almost 10,000 species of insects contrasted with the 3,000 named by Linné. He also developed insect classification substantially; whereas Linné used characters provided by the wings, Fabricius added characters provided by the mouthparts to do this. He wrote several books, developing and expanding his classification of insects. They were (1775) “Systema entomologiae,” (1776) “Genera insectorum,” (1781) “Species insectorum,”...
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