by Piter Kehoma Boll
In a series of previous posts, I detailed the classification of living beings by Linnaeus in his work Systema Naturae as presented in its 10th edition, published in 1758. Here, I will present it in a summarized way and show changes that happened from the 10th edition to the 13th edition published in two parts, one 9 years later in 1767, dealing with animals, and one 12 years later, in 1770, dealing with plants.
Linnaeus classified animals in 6 classes: Mammalia, Aves, Amphibia, Pisces, Insecta and Vermes.
1. Mammalia included mammals and in 1758 they were classified in 8 orders: Primates, Bruta, Ferae, Bestiae, Glires, Pecora, Belluae, Cete (see details here).
Linnaeus’ classification of Mammals in 1758 and 1767
In 1767 the order Bestiae no longer exists. Armadillos (Dasypus) were transfered to Bruta, pigs (Sus) to Belluae and the remaining genera to Ferae. Additionally, rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros) were transfered from Glires to Belluae and one bat species was transferred from the genus Vespertilio in Primates to a new genus, Noctilio, in Glires.
2. Aves included birds and in 1758 they were classified in 6 orders: Accipitrae, Picae, Anseres, Grallae, Gallinae, Passeres (see details here).
Linnaeus’ classification of birds in 1758 and 1767
In 1767, five new genera are seen in Picae: Buphaga, the oxpeckers, Trogon, the trogons, and Oriolus, the orioles (previously in the genus Coracias), Bucco, the puffbirds and Todus, the todies. One new genus appears in Anseres, Plotus, the darters. The order Grallae receives the new genera Palamedea, the seriemas and screamers, Parra, the jacanas, and Cancroma, the boat-billed heron. The order Gallinae is increased with the new genera Didus, the dodo (which was previously a member of the genus Struthio in the order Grallae), and Numida, the guineafowl (previously in the genus Phasianus). And, finally, the order Passeres received the new genera Pipra for the manakins (previously in Parus), Ampelis, the waxwings and cotings (previously in the genus Lanius in the order Accipitrae), Tanagra, the tanagers (previously in Fringilla) and Muscicapa, the flycatchers (previously in the genera Corvus and Motacilla).
It is also interesting to notice a change in the name of the order Accipitrae to Accipitres, and the genus Jynx is here written Yunx.
3. Amphibia included reptiles, amphibians and some fish and had 3 orders: Reptiles, Serpentes and Nantes (see details here).
Linnaeus’ classification of Amphibians in 1758 and 1767
The orders Reptiles and Serpentes remained the same. The order Nantes, which in 1758 included mainly cartilaginous fishes, in 1767 included a lot of genera that were previously classified in the class Pisces, especially in the order Branchiostegi (see below).
4. Pisces included most fish and had 5 orders: Apodes, Jugulares, Thoracici, Abdominales and Branchiostegi (see details here).
Linnaeus’ classification of fishes in 1758 and 1767
The genus Ophidion was transfered from the order Jugulares to Apodes and appears spelled Ophidium. The order Thoracici received the additional genus Cepola (red bandfishes) and the order Abdominales was increased with the genera Amia (the bowfin), Teuthis and Elops (the ladyfish), as well as the genus Mormyrus, previosly in the order Branchiostegi, which ceased to exist.
5. Insecta included arthropods and had 7 orders: Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Neuroptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Aptera (see details here).
Linnaeu’s classification of Insects in 1758 and 1767
In the order Coleoptera, received the new genera Lucanus (stag beetles, previously in Scarabaeus), Byrrhus (pill beetles), Gyrnus (whirligig beetles), Bruchus (pea weevils), Ptinus (spider beetles), Hispa, Lampyris (glowworms). The genera Blatta and Gryllus were transfered to Hemiptera and mantises were removed from Gryllus and received their own genus, Mantis. Addtionally, the lantern flies were removed from the genus Cicada and transferred to Fulgora. In the order Neuroptera, antlions were removed from the genus Hemerobius and transferred to a new genus Myrmeleon. In the order Hymenoptera, the cuckoo wasps were transferred from the genus Sphex to a new genus Chrysis.
6. Vermes included several worms, molluscs, echinoderms, cnidarians and hagfishes. There were 5 orders: Intestina, Mollusca, Testacea, Lithophyta and Zoophyta (see details here).
Linnaeus’ classification of worms in 1758 and 1767
From 1758 to 1767, the genus Furia, of a fictional species, was transferred from Intestina to Zoophyta, and the genus Teredo (shipworms) was transferred from Intestina to Testacea. A new genus, Sipunculus, was added to Intestina to include the peanut worms. In the order Mollusca, we find now the new genera Ascidia (sea squirts), Aplysia (sea hares), Terebella (some polychaetes, previously in Nereis) and Clio (some sea slugs). The genus Priapus, containing sea anemones, is now called Actinia. The order Testacea received the new genera Mactra (trough shells, previously in Cardium) and Sabella (fanworm, previously in Serpula). The order Lithophyta received the new genus Cellepora (for bryozoans). In the order Zoophyta we find the new genera Flustra (for bryozoans previously in Eschara), Vorticella (for ciliates previously in Hydra) and Chaos (for amoebas, previously in Volvox). An additional genus is seen in Zoophyta: Spongia (sponges), transferred from Algae, back in the plant kingdom
Plants had a much more complicated system than animals. There were the plants with regular flowers classified in classes and orders according to the number of male and female sexual organs, respectively (as you can read in detail in parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of plants in Systema Naturae). Little has changed that except for some genera, as you can see in the table below.
Linnaeus classification of plants with regular hermaphrodite flowers in 1758 and 1770. See the image in higher resolution here.
The same is true for species in the classes Didynamia and Tetradynamia, which have flowers with stamens of different sizes. Little has changed in their classification.
Linnaeus’ classification of plants with flowers having stamens of two different sizes in 1758 and 1770.
Regarding the three classes characterized by flowers with clustered stamens, we can see two new orders in the class Monadelphia.
Linnaeus’ classification of plants having flowers with clustered stamens in 1758 and 1770.
In the class Syngenesia we can notice that the order Polygamia Superflua ceases to exist, with most of its species being transferred to Polygamia Aequalis, and a new order, Polygamia Segregata, is now present. In the class Gynandria a new order, Dodecandria, is created. See those two classes in more detail here.
Linnaeus’ classification of plants with stamens fused to each other or to the carpels in 1758 and 1770.
In the three classes of plants with male and female organs occurring in separate flowers, I think the most interesting novelty is that the genus Chara, which in 1758 was classified as a genus of algae, is now among the flowering plants in the class Monoecia, order Monandria.
Linnaeus’ classification of plants having male and female organs in different flowers in 1758 and 1770.
Finally, among the Cryptogams, the “plants without flowers”, little has changed except for the transfer of Chara to the flowering plants and Spongia to the animal kingdom.
Linnaeus classification of Cryptogams in 1758 and 1770
While Linnaeus continued to develop his own system, other classifications were being proposed. We’ll start to take a look at them in the next chapters.
– – –
Linnaeus, C. (1758) Systema Naturae per regna tria Naturae…
Linnaeus, C; (1967) Systema Naturae per regna tria Naturae….
Linnaeus, C. (1770) Systema Naturae per regna tria Naturae…