Johan Christian FABRICIUS - papers on Opiliones

< back to Arachnology    < back to OmniPaper index

Johan Christian FABRICIUS

Birthdate: January 7, 1745

Birthplace: Tønder in the duchy of Schleswig, Denmark

Nationality: Danish

Died: March 3, 1808

BIOGRAPHY: Fabricius was born at Tønder in the duchy of Schleswig. He studied at the gymnasium at Altona and entered the University of Copenhagen in 1762. Later the same year he travelled together with his friend and relative Johan Zoega to Uppsala, where he studied under Carl von Linné for two years. Fabricius worked primarily with arthropods and was a specialist on insects, classifying many spiders including the black widow. He was professor of natural history, economy and finance at the University of Kiel from 1775. He was a regular visitor to London where he studied many collections. [From English Wikipedia]

Johann Fabricius was a prolific describer of new insect species, and he named about 234 species of scarab beetles. In 1762 he went to Uppsala to study under Linné and traveled extensively in Europe to collect insects and study collections. In 1769 he returned to Copenhagen where he became a professor extraordinarius at the University. He spent his winters of the next few years in Copenhagen and the summers in London where he worked on the collections of Banks, Hunter, and Drury. He published his Systema Entomologicae in 1775, the main part of which was based on his own collecting in England and the collections in England. He accepted a professorship of natural history and economics at the University of Kiel in 1771. Again, he spent the winters in Kiel and the summers in Paris or London. While in Paris, his associates were Cuvier, Lamark, Latreille, Geoffroy, and Olivier. Genera Insectorum was published in 1776; Species Insectorum in 1781; Mantissa Insectorum in 1787; and his main work, Entomologicae Systematica I-IV, was published in 1792-1794 followed by Supplementum Entomologiae Systematicae in 1798. From 1801 until his death he continued to publish his monographs on the larger insect orders. In the Autumn of 1806 Fabricius returned for the last time from Paris to Kiel where he died on 3 March 1808. Reference: Zimsen, E. 1964. The Type Material of I. C. Fabricius. Munksgaard, Copenhagen. [From Scarab Workers].


  • Ingvar Stol (contributed photocopies of 1775)
  • AnimalBase (online version of 1779, 1781)
  • Gallica - bibliothèque numérique de la Bibliothèque nationale de France (PDF of 1793).


DISCLAIMER — This resource was first intended as for private use of the members of the arachnology lab of Museu Nacional, but later we thought "why not to share this with the world?". Eventually if greedy lawyers (redundance...) start to bother us with copyright matters, etc, we may have to be forced to quit the project and keep this just to ourselves.

Fabricius, J.C. (1775) Systema Entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationibus. Officina Libraria Kortii, Flensburgi et Lipsiae [Flensburg and Leipzig, Germany], pp. xxxii + 832.

Fabricius, J.C. (1779) Reise nach Norwegen mit Bemerkungen aus der Naturhistorie und Oekonomie. Carl Ernst Bohn, Hamburg, pp. lxiv + 388 + [12].

Fabricius, J.C. (1781) Species insectorum exhibentes eorum differentias specificas, synonyma auctorum, loca natalia, metamorphosin adiectis observationibus, descriptionibus. Carol Ernest Bohhn, Hamburgi et Kilonii [Hamburg and Kiel, Germany], 1, 1–552.

Fabricius, J.C. (1793) Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta. Secundum classes, ordines, genera, species adjectis synonimis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Tome 2. Christ. Gottl. Proft, Hafniae, viii + pp. 519.


Page created Copyright © 2010-2013 by Adriano B. Kury.
Picture of JCF from Scarab Workers.
Biographical sketch from English Wikipedia.