Giorgio Jan

Giorgio Jan (21 December 1791 in Vienna – 8 May 1866, Milan) was an Italian taxonomist, zoologist, botanist, herpetologist, and writer. He is also known as Georg Jan or Georges Jan.

Jan Giorgio 1791-1866
Giorgio Jan.


After having been an assistant at the University of Vienna, Jan obtained the post of professor of botany at the university of Parma as well as becoming Director of the botanical garden. At that time, the duchy of Parma was no longer under Austrian jurisdiction following the Congress of Vienna after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.

Sordelli Ferdinando 1837-1916
Ferdinando Sordelli.

Giuseppe de Cristoforis died in 1837 bequeathing his collections to the town of Milan on condition that the municipality created a natural history museum whose direction had to be entrusted to Giorgio Jan, who offered his own collections. The Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano was created the following year and is the oldest natural history museum of Italy. Jan immediately engaged Ferdinando Sordelli (1837–1916), artist and naturalist, who then illustrated his publications.

Jan’s main interest was botany, but he made immense collections of natural history, including fossils and minerals. With Giuseppe de Cristoforis, he published many catalogues of specimens, often offered for sale or exchange. In these many new species, were described mainly insects and molluscs.

In the scientific field of herpetology he is credited with having described more than 85[1] new species of snakes, and is honored by having several species and subspecies named after him, such as the Texas night snake (Hypsiglena torquata jani ), the Mexican pine snake (Pituophis deppei jani ), Jan's shovelsnout snake (Prosymna janii ), and Jan's centipede snake (Tantilla jani ).[2][3] In the 1860s he began compiling what was to become the Iconographie Général des Ophidiens, an extensive illustrated collection of scientific papers relating to snakes, but he died before it was completed. The work was eventually finished and published in several parts by Sordelli.

Publications (incomplete list)

  • Iconographie Générale des Ophidians (1860–1866). [5] (in French).


  1. ^ "Jan". The Reptile Database.
  2. ^ Beltz, Ellin (2007). "Scientific and Common Names of Reptiles and Amphibians of North America – Explained".
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Jan", p. 133).
  4. ^ IPNI.  Jan.
  5. ^ "Iconographie Générale des Ophidiens (1864)". (in French).

Further reading

  • Conci, Cesare (1966). "Il centenario di Giorgio Jan, la sua attività malacologica e le collezioni di Molluschi del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano". Lavori della Società Malacologica Italiana 3: 1–8. (in Italian).
  • Conci, Cesare (1978). Il Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. Milan: Banca Popolare di Milano. (in Italian).
  • Conci, Cesare (1984). Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, Musaeum Septalianum una collezione scientifica nella Milano del Seicento a cura di Antonio Aimi, Vincenzo De Michele, Alessandro Morandotti. Florence: Giunti Marzocco. (in Italian).

External links


Acrantophis is a genus of terrestrial boid snakes endemic to the island of Madagascar.

Acrantophis dumerili

Acrantophis dumerili, commonly known as Dumeril's boa, similar to and often confused as the Madagascar ground boa, is a non-venomous boa species found on Madagascar. No subspecies are currently recognized.


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Common names: (none).Anomalepis is a genus of nonvenomous blind snakes found in Central and South America. Currently, 4 monotypic species are recognized.

Calliophis bibroni

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Causus lichtensteinii

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Eirenis is a genus of Old World snakes in the family Colubridae.


Elapotinus is a monotypic genus created for the rear-fanged species, Elapotinus picteti, found in Madagascar. It is also known as Jan's snake in honor of Giorgio Jan. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Giuseppe De Cristoforis

Giuseppe De Cristoforis (or De Cristofori) (11 October 1803 – 27 December 1837, also Milan) was an Italian naturalist and collector.

Also known as Joseph de Cristoforis or Giuseppe Cristofori, he was born in Milan. He studied entomology, specialising in Coleoptera. He was a natural history and insect dealer in Milan.

His collections, merged with those of Giorgio Jan, were the basis of Museo Civico di Storia Naturale of Milan. He bequeathed them to the city in 1832 on the condition that the municipality created a natural history museum curated by his friend Giorgio Jan.He died at Milan in 1837.

Jules Bourcier

Jules Bourcier (1797, Cuisery – 9 March 1873, Batignolles) was a French naturalist.Bourcier was an expert on hummingbirds, and named a number of new species, either alone or with other ornithologists; such as Adolphe Delattre and Martial Etienne Mulsant.

The following hummingbird species bear his name:

Colibri de Bourcier (Polyonymus caroli ), described by Bourcier in 1847;

Phaethornis bourcieri, described by René Primevère Lesson in 1832.A species of South American snake, Saphenophis boursieri, was named in his honor by Giorgio Jan in 1867.Bourcier was the French consul to Ecuador from 1849 to 1850. In 1857 he became a corresponding member of the Société linnéenne de Lyon.

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano

The Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano (Milan Natural History Museum) is a museum in Milan, Italy. It was founded in 1838 when

naturalist Giuseppe de Cristoforis donated his collections to the city. Its first director was Giorgio Jan.

The Museum is located within a 19th-century building in the Indro Montanelli Garden, near the historic city gate of Porta Venezia. The structure was built between 1888 and 1893 in Neo-Romanesque style with Gothic elements.

The museum is divided into five different permanent sections: Mineralogy (with a large collection of minerals from all over the world); Paleontology (with several fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric organisms); Natural History of Man (dedicated to the origins and evolution of humans with a particular attention to the relationship of the latter with the environment); Invertebrate Zoology (dedicated to mollusks, arthropods and entomology); and Vertebrate Zoology (dedicated to vertebrates, both exotic and European).

The museum also exhibits the largest Italian collection of full size dioramas (over 100) that allow visitors to observe some peculiar aspects of various ecosystems.

Polemon (genus)

"Miodon" redirects here. The mollusc genus of family Carditidae invalidly described by Carpenter in 1863 has been renamed Miodontiscus.

Polemon is a genus of rear-fanged venomous snakes in the family Atractaspididae. The genus is endemic to Africa. Fifteen species are recognized as being valid.

Polemon barthii

Polemon barthii, or the Guinea snake-eater, is a species of rear-fanged venomous snake in the family Atractaspididae. The species is endemic to Africa.

Polemon neuwiedi

Polemon neuwiedi, the Ivory Coast snake-eater or Neuwied’s Polemon, is a species of venomous rear-fanged snake in the family Atractaspididae. It is endemic to West Africa.


Pseudorabdion is a genus of snakes of the family Colubridae.


Simoselaps, or Australian coral snakes, is a genus composed of 13 species of venomous elapid snakes.


Spalerosophis is a small genus of snakes in the family Colubridae.


Thamnosophis is a genus of lamprophiid snakes found only on the island of Madagascar. As of 2014, six species were recognized.


Tropidonophis is a genus of snakes in the subfamily Natricinae of the family Colubridae.

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