Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger

Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger (19 November 1775 – 10 May 1813) was a German entomologist and zoologist.

Illiger was the son of a merchant in Braunschweig. He studied under the entomologist Johann Hellwig, and later worked on the zoological collections of Johann Centurius Hoffmannsegg.[1] Illiger was professor and director of the "zoological museum" (which is the Natural History Museum of Berlin in the present day) from its formation in 1810 until his death.[2][3]

He was the author of "Prodromus systematis mammalium et avium" (1811), which was an overhaul of the Linnaean system.[4][5] It was a major influence on the adoption of the concept of the "family". He also edited the "Magazin für Insektenkunde", widely known as "Illiger's Magazine".[6]

In 1811 he introduced the taxonomic order Proboscidea for elephants, the American mastodon and the woolly mammoth.[7] He also described the subspecies Odobenus rosmarus divergens, commonly known as the Pacific walrus.[8] Illiger's macaw (Promolius maracana; Vieillot, 1816) and Illiger's saddle-back tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis illigeri; Pucheran, 1845) commemorate his name.[9] The botanical genus Illigera (family Hernandiaceae) also bears his name.[10]

Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger
Born19 November 1775
Died10 May 1813 (aged 37)
Scientific career
InstitutionsZoological Museum in Berlin

Published works

  • Beschreibung einiger neuer Käfer, in: Schneider's entomologisches Magazin (1794) – Description of a new beetle.
  • Nachricht von einer in etlichten Gersten- und Haferfeldern um Braunschweig wahrscheinlich durch Insecten verursachten Verheerung, in: Brauschweigisches Magazin 50 (1795) – News about barley and oat fields near Braunschweig likely devastated by insects.
  • Verzeichniß der Käfer Preußens; outlined by Johann Gottlieb Kugelann (1798) – Directory of beetles found in Prussia.
  • Die Wurmtrocknis des Harzes, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 49-50 (1798) – Bark beetles found in resin.
  • Die Erdmandel, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 2 (1799) – The nutsedge.
  • Versuch einer systematischen vollständigen Terminologie für das Thierreich und Pflanzenreich (1800) – About a systematic complete terminology for the animal and plant kingdoms.
  • Zusätze und Berichte zu Fabricius Systema Eleutheratorum. Magazin fur Insektenkunde 1. viii + 492 pp. (1802) – Additions and comments on Fabricius' "Systema Eleutheratorus".
  • Über die südamerikanischen Gürtelthiere, in: Wiedemann's Archiv für die Zoologie (1804) – About the South American armadillo.
  • Die wilden Pferde in Amerika, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 7/(1805) – Wild horses in America.
  • Nachricht von dem Hornvieh in Paraguay in Südamerika, in: Braunschweigisches Magazin 15-16 (1805) – On horned cattle of Paraguay.
  • Nachlese zu den Bemerkungen, Berichtigungen und Zusätzen zu Fabricii Systema Eleutheratorum; Mag. fur Insektenkunde. 6:296-317 (1807) – Information regarding the comments, corrections and additions to Fabricius' "Systema Eleutheratorum".
  • Vorschlag zur Aufnahme im Fabricischen Systeme fehlender Käfergattungen. Magazin für Insektenkunde 6:318-350 (1807).
  • Prodromus Systematis Mammalium et Avium (1811).
  • Überblick der Säugthiere nach ihrer Vertheilung über die Welttheile. Abh. K. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1804-1811: 39-159 (1815) – Overview of quadrupeds according to their distribution throughout the world.


  • Wilhelm Heß: Illiger, Johann Karl Wilhelm. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Band 14, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1881, S. 23–27.[1]
  1. ^ Illiger, Karl at Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  3. ^ Illiger, Karl In: Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). Band 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5, S. 138 f.
  4. ^ Limonia - Massachusetts, Volume 14
  5. ^ Ray Society, Issue 11
  6. ^ Magazine of Natural History, Volume 8 edited by John Claudius Loudon, Edward Charlesworth, John Denson
  7. ^ Mammals of Africa, Volumes 1-6 by Jonathan Kingdon, David Happold, Thomas Butynski, Michael Hoffmann, Meredith Happold, Jan Kalina
  8. ^ Odobenus rosmarus divergens WoRMS taxon details
  9. ^ The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals by Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, Michael Grayson
  10. ^ Medicinal Plants of China, Korea, and Japan by Christophe Wiart

External links

Azaras's capuchin

Azaras's capuchin or hooded capuchin (Sapajus cay) is a species of robust capuchin. It occurs in eastern Paraguay, southeastern Bolivia, northern Argentina, and Brazil, at Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso states, in Pantanal.Its habitat consists of subtropical, humid, semi-deciduous, gallery forests and forested regions of the pantanals. Formerly, it was considered a subspecies of black-striped capuchin, according to Groves (2005) with the name Cebus libidinosus paraguayanus, but Silva Jr. (2001) considered it a separated species. They are considered as frugivores-insectivores which means that their diet mainly consists of a variety of fruits, seeds, arthropods, frogs, small mammals, etc.

Caspian tiger

The Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) was a tiger population which lived from eastern Turkey, Mesopotamia, the Caucasus around the Caspian Sea through Central Asia to northern Afghanistan and Xinjiang in western China. It inhabited sparse forests and riverine corridors in this region until the 1970s. This population was assessed as extinct in 2003.Felis virgata was the scientific name proposed in 1815 by Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger for this tiger population.

Results of phylogeographic analysis indicate that the Caspian and Siberian tiger populations shared a common continuous geographic distribution until the early 19th century that became fragmented due to human influence.Some Caspian tiger individuals were intermediate in size between Siberian and Bengal tigers.The Caspian tiger was also called Hyrcanian tiger, Turanian tiger, and Babre Mazandaran (Persian: ببرِ مازندران‎), depending on the region of its occurrence.

Cassida prasina

Cassida prasina is a greenish coloured beetle in the leaf beetle family.

Ceramida longitarsis

Ceramida longitarsis is a species of beetle in the Melolonthinae subfamily. It was described by Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger in 1803 and is endemic to Portugal.


Cingulata, part of the superorder Xenarthra, is an order of armored New World placental mammals. Dasypodids and chlamyphorids, the armadillos, are the only surviving families in the order. Two groups of cingulates much larger than extant armadillos (maximum body mass of 45 kg (100 lb) in the case of the giant armadillo) existed until recently: pampatheriids, which reached weights of up to 200 kg (440 lb) and chlamyphorid glyptodonts, which attained masses of 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) or more.

The cingulate order originated in South America during the Paleocene epoch about 66 to 56 million years ago, and due to the continent's former isolation remained confined to it during most of the Cenozoic. However, the formation of a land bridge allowed members of all three families to migrate to southern North America during the Pliocene or early Pleistocene as part of the Great American Interchange. After surviving for tens of millions of years, all of the pampatheriids and giant glyptodonts apparently died out during the Quaternary extinction event at the beginning of the Holocene, along with much of the rest of the regional megafauna, shortly after the colonization of the Americas by Paleo-Indians.

Eurybia (butterfly)

Eurybia is a Neotropical genus of metalmark butterflies found from Mexico to Bolivia.


Melipona is a genus of stingless bees, widespread in warm areas of the Neotropics, from Sinaloa and Tamaulipas (México) to Tucumán and Misiones (Argentina). At least 40 species are known. The largest producer of honey from Melipona bees in Mexico is in the state of Yucatán where bees are studied at an interactive park called "Bee Planet" which is within the Cuxtal Ecological Reserve.Several species are kept for honey production, such as in Brazil, where some are well-known enough to have common names. Melipona honey has long been used by humans and now is of minor commercial importance. Research is going on in improved beekeeping techniques.

Meriones (rodent)

Meriones is a rodent genus that includes the gerbil most commonly kept as a pet, Meriones unguiculatus. The genus contains most animals referred to as jirds, but members of the genera Sekeetamys, Brachiones, and sometimes Pachyuromys are also known as jirds. The distribution of Meriones ranges from northern Africa to Mongolia. Meriones jirds tend to inhabit arid regions including clay desert, sandy desert, and steppe, but are also in slightly wetter regions, and are an agricultural pest.

The genus was named by Illiger in 1811, deriving from the Greek word μηρος (femur). However the name is shared with Greek warrior Meriones in Homer's Iliad which has brought confusion to the meaning of the scientific names, specially for the popular pet Mongolian gerbil.


The Muridae, or murids, are the largest family of rodents and of mammals, containing over 700 species found naturally throughout Eurasia, Africa, and Australia.The name Muridae comes from the Latin mus (genitive muris), meaning "mouse".


The Muroidea are a large superfamily of rodents, including mice, rats, voles, hamsters, gerbils, and many other relatives. They occupy a vast variety of habitats on every continent except Antarctica. Some authorities have placed all members of this group into a single family, Muridae, due to difficulties in determining how the subfamilies are related to one another. The following taxonomy is based on recent well-supported molecular phylogenies.The muroids are classified in six families, 19 subfamilies, around 280 genera, and at least 1750 species.


Nemophora is a genus of the fairy longhorn moth family (Adelidae). Among these, it belongs to subfamily Adelinae.


Pedetes is a genus of rodent, the springhares, in the family Pedetidae. Members of the genus are distributed across southern and Eastern Africa.


The Proboscidea (from the Greek προβοσκίς and the Latin proboscis) are a taxonomic order of afrotherian mammals containing one living family (Elephantidae) and several extinct families. This order, first described by J. Illiger in 1811, encompasses the trunked mammals. In addition to their enormous size, later proboscideans are distinguished by tusks and long, muscular trunks; these features were less developed or absent in the smaller early proboscideans. Beginning in the mid-Miocene, most members of this order were very large animals. The largest land mammal today is the African elephant weighing up to 10.4 tonnes with a shoulder height of up to 4 m (13.1 ft). The largest land mammal of all time may have also been a proboscidean: Palaeoloxodon namadicus, which may have weighed up to 22 t (24.3 short tons) with a shoulder height up to 5.2 m (17.1 ft), surpassing several sauropod dinosaurs (in height).The earliest known proboscidean is Eritherium, followed by Phosphatherium, a small animal about the size of a fox. These both date from late Paleocene deposits of Morocco.

Proboscideans evolved in Africa, where they increased in size and diversity during the Eocene and early Oligocene. Several primitive families from these epochs have been described, including the Numidotheriidae, Moeritheriidae, and Barytheriidae, all found exclusively in Africa. (The Anthracobunidae from the Indian subcontinent were also believed to be a family of proboscideans, but were excluded from the Proboscidea by Shoshani and Tassy (2005) and have more recently been assigned to the Perissodactyla.) When Africa became connected to Europe and Asia after the shrinking of the Tethys Sea, proboscideans began to migrate into Eurasia, and some families eventually reached North America. Proboscideans found in Eurasia in addition to Africa include the Deinotheriidae, which thrived during the Miocene and into the early Quaternary, Stegolophodon, an early genus of the disputed family Stegodontidae; the diverse family of Gomphotheriidae, such as Platybelodon and Amebelodon; and the Mammutidae, or mastodons.

Most families of the Proboscidea are now extinct, including all proboscideans that lived in the Americas, Europe, and northern Asia. Many of these extinctions occurred during or shortly after the last glacial period. Recently extinct species include the last examples of gomphotheres in the Americas, the American mastodon of family Mammutidae in North America, numerous stegodonts once found in Asia, the last of the mammoths throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and several species of dwarf elephants found on various islands scattered around the world.


Saccopteryx is a genus of sac-winged bats from Central and South America. The species within this genus are:

Antioquian sac-winged bat Saccopteryx antioquensis

Greater sac-winged bat Saccopteryx bilineata

Frosted sac-winged bat Saccopteryx canescens

Amazonian sac-winged bat Saccopteryx gymnura

Lesser sac-winged bat Saccopteryx leptura

Smaragdina affinis

Smaragdina affinis is a species of short-horned leaf beetles belonging to the family Chrysomelidae, subfamily Clytrinae.

Tacua speciosa

Tacua speciosa is a very large Southeast Asian species of cicada. It is the only member of its genus.


The genus Tolypeutes contains the two species of three-banded armadillos. They are restricted to open and semi-open habitats in South America.

Of the several armadillo genera, only Tolypeutes rely heavily on their armor for protection. When threatened by a predator, Tolypeutes species frequently roll up into a ball. Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.