Pierre F. M. A. Dejean
THE great name in coleopterology in the early 19th
century. He was
a general in the army who rose to the title of pair de
France, and he served as Napoleons first aide-de-camp
at the battle of Waterloo.
Beginning in 1802, he began a series of catalogs of the
species in his collection; the final edition in 1837 contained
more than 22,000 names!
These lists were used by other entomologists to arrange
their collections, but it is important to note that Dejeans
names of new species in his catalogs are nomina nuda.
Dejean was consistently opposed to the principal of priority
in nomenclature, instead preferring the name most generally
used rather than the oldest one. Although Dejean may be best known for his five volumes on Carabidae
in the Spécies Général des Coléoptères
(1825-1838), he described a number of Scarabaeoidea.
an ardent collector and, combined with his purchases and exchanges,
brought together the largest private insect collection of the
time. His collecting
ardor is evident from an account by Boisduval (Dejeans
private curator) in the Annals of the Entomological Society
of France (vol. 2, p. 502, 1845, translated):
the battle of Alcanizas, which Dejean won after a long-contested
fight, taking a great number of prisoners, when the enemy had
just appeared and he was prepared to give the signal of attack.
Dejean, at the border of a brook caught sight of a Cebrio
ustulatus on a flower. He immediately dismounted, pinned
the insect, applied it to the inside of his helmet which, for
this purpose, was always supplied with pieces of cork, and started
the battle. After
this, Dejeans helmet was terribly maltreated from cartouche
fire; but, fortunately, he refound his precious Cebrio
intact on its piece of cork.
Barber, H S and J. C. Bridwell. 1940. Dejean catalogue names
(Coleoptera). Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society
Lindroth, C. H. 1973. Systematics specializes between
Fabricius and Darwin: 1800-1859, p. 119-154.
IN, Smith, R. F., T. E. Mittler,
and C. N. Smith, History of Entomology. Annual Reviews Inc., Palo Alto,
CA. 517 pp.
Madge, R B.
1988. The publication dates of Dejean's catalogues.
Archives of Natural History 15: 317-321.