Hermann Burmeister was
born 15 January 1807 in Stralsund, Germany. He received diplomas
for doctor of philosophy and medicine from the University of
Halle and Greifwald in 1829. Under the auspices of Alexander
von Humboldt, Burmeister traveled to Brazil from September 1850
to March 1852 where he studied natural history in the states
of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janiero. In the fall of 1856, Burmeister
returned to South America to study natural history in the Republics
of Argentina and Uruguay. He became the Director of the National
Museum of Natural History in Buenos Aires in 1862 where he worked
for thirty years until his death.
Burmeister was an indefatigable naturalist. His interests included
entomology, paleontology, ornithology, geology, and meteorology.
His entomological research dealt primarily with Coleoptera,
including buprestids, carabids, cerambycids, cassidines, and
elaterids. In the area of scarab systematics, Burmeister provided
a synthetic review of the classification and taxonomy of world
Scarabaeidae in his five volume (six parts) tome, Handbuch
der Entomology (1832-1847). He published over 75 entomological
papers. Burmeister's collection, including type specimens, is
at the Zoological Museum in Halle, Germany.
Reference: Berg, C. 1894. Notice nécrologique sur le docteur
Hermann Burmeister. Annals de la Societe Entomologique du France