Tag Archives: taxonomy

Greek Gods as genus names

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Although I’m not much of a taxonomist, I really love taxonomy and the way it can be used to add some sort of literary art to biology. So here I am going to present a list of genera named after some Greek gods. I hope you enjoy it!

Zeus_faber

The genus of fish Zeus is named after the king of the Greek gods. The photo shows the species Zeus faber. Photo by Wikimedia user Kleines.Opossum.*

Zeus_olympius

The genus of fungi Zeus is also named after the king of the Greek gods. The photo shows the species Zeus olympius. Photo by Rossen Aleksov.*

Lineus_ruber

Named after the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon used to be a genus of ribbon worms (nemerteans), but this name is currently a synonym of Lineus. The photo shows a specimen of Lineus ruber, formerly known as Poseidon ruber. Photo by Eduardo Zattara.**

Hades_noctula

The name of the god of the underworld, Hades, was given to a genus of butterflies. Here you can see an individual of the species Hades noctula. Photo by Dan Wade.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The plant genus Hestia, with a single species, Hestia longifolia, was named after the Greek goddess of the hearth. Photo by Michael Lo.

800px-aphrodita_aculeata_28sea_mouse29

The sea mouse genus Aphrodita was so named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, sex and beauty. The photo shows the species Aphrodita aculeata. Photo by Michael Maggs.*

hetul_u0

The fish genus Hephaestus, including the species Hephaestus tulliensis seen above, is named after the Greek god of fire and forgery. Photo by Glynn Aland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, was honored in the owl genus Athene, which includes the borrowing owl Athene cunicularia seen above. Photo by flickr user travelwayoflife.***

Ares_mexicoensis

Ares, named after the Greek god of war, is a genus of fossil radiolarians that includes the species Ares mexicoensis shown above. Photo extracted from Whalen & Carter, 2002.

800px-dosinia_coerulea_003

Artemis, the greek Goddess of hunt, used to be the name of a genus of clams, but currently it is a synonym of Dosinia. The species seen above, Dosinia coerulea, used to be in the genus Artemis.

399px-nussatella1

The Greek god of travelers and messenger of the gods, Hermes, was honored in a genus of sea snails. Currently, it is regarded as a subgenus of the genus Conus and includes the species Conus (Hermes) nussatella seen above. Photo by Nick Zantop.*

 

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*Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

**Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

***Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

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New Species: September 11 to 20

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Here is a list of species described from September 11 to September 20. It certainly does not include all described species. Most information comes from the journals Mycokeys, Phytokeys, Zookeys, Phytotaxa, Zootaxa, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, and Systematic and Applied Microbiology, as well as journals restricted to certain taxa.

petrolisthes-paulayi

Petrolisthes paulayi is a new crab described in the past 10 days.

SARs

Plants

Amoebozoans

Fungi

Sponges

Cnidaria

Flatworms

Annelids

Nematodes

Arachnids

Myriapods

Crustaceans

Hexapods

Cartilaginous fishes

Ray-finned fishes

Lissamphibians

Reptiles

Mammals

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New species: April last week

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Here is a list of species described from April 22 to April 30. It certainly does not include all described species. Most information comes from the journals Mycokeys, Phytokeys, Zookeys, Phytotaxa, Zootaxa and International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Trigonopterus_chewbacca

Trigonopterus chewbacca Van Dam & Riedel, 2016 is a recently described wookie, I mean beetle.

Bacteria:

Plants:

Amoebozoans:

Fungi:

Flatworms:

Mollusks:

Arachnids:

Crustaceans:

Hexapods:

Ray-finned fishes:

Reptiles:

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The history of Systematics: Animals in Systema Naturae, 1758 (part 4)

by Piter Kehoma Boll

This is the fourth and last part of this series of posts. See here part 1, part 2 and part 3.

I’m presenting here the 6 th and last class of animals: Vermes. It included basically anything that was neither a vertebrate nor an arthropod.

6. Vermes (worms)

Heart with one ventricle and one auricle; cold pus.
Spiracles absent?
Jaws multiple, various.
Penises several in hermaphrodites, androgynous.
Senses: tentacles, head absent (rarely with eyes, no ears and nostrils).
Covering: sometimes calcareous or absent, if not spines.
Support: neither feet nor fins.

Vermes were classified according the form of the body in 5 orders: Intestina, Mollusca, Testacea, Lithophyta and Zoophyta.

6.1 Intestina (internal ones or intestines), simple, naked and without appendages: Gordius (horsehair worms), Furia (the legendary worm), Lumbricus (earthworms and lugworms), Ascaris (roundworms and pinworms), Fasciola (liver flukes), Hirudo (leeches), Myxine (hagfishes) and Teredo (shipworms).

Linnaeus’ heterogeneous order Intestina included (from left to right, top to bottom) the water horsehair worm (Gordius aquaticus), the legendary hell’s fury (Furia infernalis), the common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris), the giant roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), the sheep liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica), the European medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis), the Atlantic hagfish (Myxine glutinosa), and the naval shipworm (Teredo navalis). Credits to Jiří Duchoň (horsehair worm), Michael Linnenbach (earthworm), Wikimedia user GlebK (leech), Arnstein Rønning (hagfish), Poi Australia [poi-australia.com.au] (shipworm).

Linnaeus’ heterogeneous order Intestina included (from left to right, top to bottom) the water horsehair worm (Gordius aquaticus), the legendary hell’s fury (Furia infernalis), the common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris), the giant roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), the sheep liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica), the European medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis), the Atlantic hagfish (Myxine glutinosa), and the naval shipworm (Teredo navalis). Credits to Jiří Duchoň (horsehair worm), Michael Linnenbach (earthworm), Wikimedia user GlebK (leech), Arnstein Rønning (hagfish), Poi Australia [poi-australia.com.au] (shipworm).

 6.2 Mollusca (soft ones), simple, naked and with appendages: Limax (land slugs), Doris (doriid sea slugs), Tethys (tethydid sea slugs), Nereis (polychaetes), Aphrodita (sea mice), Lernaea (anchor worms), Priapus (priapulid worms and anemones), Scyllaea (scyllaeid sea slugs), Holothuria (salps and man o’ wars), Triton (possibly some sort of sea slug), Sepia (octopuses, squids and cuttlefishes), Medusa (jellyfishes), Asterias (starfishes), Echinus (sea urchins and sand dollars).

Among the animals that Linnaeus put under Mollusca are (from left to right, top to bottom) the leopard slug (Limax maximus), the warty dorid (Doris verrucosa), the fringed tethydid (Tethys leporina, now Tethys fimbria), the slender ragworm (Nereis pelagica), the sea mouse (Aphrodita aculeata), the common anchor worm (Lernaea cyprinacea), the cactus worm (Priapus humanus, now Priapulus caudatus), the sargassum nudibranch (Scyllaea pelagica), the Portuguese man o’ war (Holothuria physalis, now Physalia physalis), the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), the moon jellyfish (Medusa aurita, now Aurelia aurita), and the European edible sea urchin (Echinus esculentus).Credits to Marina Jacob (slug), Wikimedia user Seascapeza (dorid), Pino Bucca (tethydid), Alexander Semenov (ragworms), Michael Maggs (sea mouse), glsc.usgs.gov (anchor worm), Shunkina Ksenia (cactus worm), Universidad de Olviedo (sargassum nudibranch), Hans Hillewaert (cuttlefish, jellyfish and starfish), and Bengt Littorin (sea urchin).

Among the animals that Linnaeus put under Mollusca are (from left to right, top to bottom) the leopard slug (Limax maximus), the warty dorid (Doris verrucosa), the fringed tethydid (Tethys leporina, now Tethys fimbria), the slender ragworm (Nereis pelagica), the sea mouse (Aphrodita aculeata), the common anchor worm (Lernaea cyprinacea), the cactus worm (Priapus humanus, now Priapulus caudatus), the sargassum nudibranch (Scyllaea pelagica), the Portuguese man o’ war (Holothuria physalis, now Physalia physalis), the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), the moon jellyfish (Medusa aurita, now Aurelia aurita), the common starfish (Asterias rubens), and the European edible sea urchin (Echinus esculentus). Credits to Marina Jacob (slug), Wikimedia user Seascapeza (dorid), Pino Bucca (tethydid), Alexander Semenov (ragworm), Michael Maggs (sea mouse), glsc.usgs.gov (anchor worm), Shunkina Ksenia (cactus worm), Universidad de Olviedo (sargassum nudibranch), Hans Hillewaert (cuttlefish, jellyfish and starfish), and Bengt Littorin (sea urchin).

6.3 Testacea (covered with a shell), simple, covered by a calcareous shelter: Chiton (chitons), Lepas (barnacles), Pholas (piddocks and angelwings), Myes (soft-shell clams), Solen (razor clams), Tellina (tellins), Cardium (cockles), Donax (wedge shells), Venus (venus clams), Spondylus (thorny oysters), Chama (jewel box shells), Arca (ark clams), Ostrea (true oysters), Anomia (saddle oysters), Mytilus (mussels), Pinna (pen shells), Argonauta (paper nautiluses), Nautilus (nautiluses), Conus (cone snails), Cypraea (cowries), Bulla (bubble shells), Voluta (volutes), Buccinum (true whelks), Strombus (true conchs), Murex (murex snails), Trochus (top snails), Turbo (turban snails), Helix (land snails), Nerita (nerites), Haliotis (abalones), Patella (limpets and brachiopods), Dentalium (tusk shells) and Serpula (serpulid worms and worm snails).

Linnaeus’ diverse order Testacea included (from left to right, top to bottom): the West Indian green chiton (Chiton tuberculatus), the smooth gooseneck barnacle (Lepas anatifera), the common piddock (Pholas dactylus), the sand gaper (Myes arenaria, now Mya arenaria), the sheath razor (Solen vagina), the sunrise tellin (Tellina radiata), the great ribbed cockle (Cardium costatum), the abrupt wedge shell (Donax trunculus), the wary venus (Venus verrucosa), the spiny scallop (Spondylus gaederopus), the lazarus jewel box (Chama lazarus), the Noah’s Ark shell (Arca noae), the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), the European jingle shell (Anomia ephippium), the blue mussle (Mytilus edulis), the rough penshell (Pinna rudis), the greater argonaut (Argonauta argo), the chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius), the marbled cone (Conus marmoreus), the tiger cowry (Cypraea tigris), the Pacific bubble (Bulla ampulla), the music volute (Voluta musica), the common whelk (Buccinum undatum), the West Indian fighting conch (Strombus pugilis), the caltrop murex (Murex tribulus), maculated top snail (Trochus maculatus), the tapestry turban (Turbo petholatus), the Roman snail (Helix pomatia), the bleeding tooth nerite (Nerita peloronta), Midas ear abalone (Haliotis midae), the Mediterranean limpet (Patella caerulea), the elephant tusk shell (Dentalium elephantinum), the sand worm snail (Serpula arenaria, now Thylacodes arenarius). Credits to James St. John (chiton), Ruben Vera (barnacle), Valter Jacinto (piddock), Oscar Bos [ecomare.nl] (sand gaper), Guido & Philippe Poppe [conchology.be] (razor), femorale.com (tellin, cockle, scallop, ark shell, jingle shell, bubble, fighting conch, nerite, abalone, tusk shell), Hans Hillewaert (wedge shell, venus, nautilus, whelk), Richard Parker (jewel box, marbled cone), Jan Johan ter Poorten (oyster), Wikimedia user Hectonichus (penshell, volute), Bernd Hoffmann (argonaut), Samuel Chow (cowry), Frédéric Ducarme (turban), H. Krisp (Roman snail), Wikimedia user Esculapio (limpet), Matthieu Sontag (worm snail).

Linnaeus’ diverse order Testacea included (from left to right, top to bottom): the West Indian green chiton (Chiton tuberculatus), the smooth gooseneck barnacle (Lepas anatifera), the common piddock (Pholas dactylus), the sand gaper (Myes arenaria, now Mya arenaria), the sheath razor (Solen vagina), the sunrise tellin (Tellina radiata), the great ribbed cockle (Cardium costatum), the abrupt wedge shell (Donax trunculus), the warty venus (Venus verrucosa), the spiny scallop (Spondylus gaederopus), the lazarus jewel box (Chama lazarus), the Noah’s Ark shell (Arca noae), the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), the European jingle shell (Anomia ephippium), the blue mussle (Mytilus edulis), the rough penshell (Pinna rudis), the greater argonaut (Argonauta argo), the chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius), the marbled cone (Conus marmoreus), the tiger cowry (Cypraea tigris), the Pacific bubble (Bulla ampulla), the music volute (Voluta musica), the common whelk (Buccinum undatum), the West Indian fighting conch (Strombus pugilis), the caltrop murex (Murex tribulus), the maculated top snail (Trochus maculatus), the tapestry turban (Turbo petholatus), the Roman snail (Helix pomatia), the bleeding tooth nerite (Nerita peloronta), Midas ear abalone (Haliotis midae), the Mediterranean limpet (Patella caerulea), the elephant tusk shell (Dentalium elephantinum), the sand worm snail (Serpula arenaria, now Thylacodes arenarius). Credits to James St. John (chiton), Ruben Vera (barnacle), Valter Jacinto (piddock), Oscar Bos [ecomare.nl] (sand gaper), Guido & Philippe Poppe [conchology.be] (razor), femorale.com (tellin, cockle, scallop, ark shell, jingle shell, bubble, fighting conch, nerite, abalone, tusk shell), Hans Hillewaert (wedge shell, venus, nautilus, whelk), Richard Parker (jewel box, marbled cone), Jan Johan ter Poorten (oyster), Wikimedia user Hectonichus (penshell, volute), Bernd Hoffmann (argonaut), Samuel Chow (cowry), Frédéric Ducarme (turban), H. Krisp (Roman snail), Wikimedia user Esculapio (limpet), Matthieu Sontag (worm snail).

6.4 Lithophyta (stone plants), composite, growing on a solid base: Tubipora (organ pipe corals), Millepora (fire corals), Madrepora (stone corals and Acetabularia algae).

Three species listed by Linnaeus under Lithophyta (from left to right): organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica), sea ginger (Millepora alcicornis), zigzag coral (Madrepora oculata). Credits to Aaron Gustafson (pipe coral), Nick Hobgood (sea ginger), NOAA, U.S.’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (zigzag coral).

Three species listed by Linnaeus under Lithophyta (from left to right): organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica), sea ginger (Millepora alcicornis), zigzag coral (Madrepora oculata). Credits to Aaron Gustafson (pipe coral), Nick Hobgood (sea ginger), NOAA, U.S.’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (zigzag coral).

6.5 Zoophyta (animal plants), growing like plants, with animated flowers: Isis (bamboo corals), Gorgonia (sea fans), Alcyonum (soft corals), Tubularia (pipe corals), Eschara (bryozoans and red algae), Corallina (coralline algae), Sertularia (bryozoans and hydrozoans), Hydra (hydras, cilliates and rotifers), Pennatula (sea pens), Taenia (tapeworms), Volvox (volvox algae and amLinebae).

Some species in Linnaeus’ order Zoophyta were (from left to right, top to bottom): the Venus sea fan (Gorgonia flabellum), the dead man’s fingers (Alcyonium digitatum), the oaten pipe hydroid (Tubullaria indivisa), the leafy bryozoan (Eschara foliacea, now Flustra foliacea), the coral weed (Corallina officinalis), the squirrel’s tail (Sertularia argentea), the grooved vorticella (Hydra convallaria, now Vorticella convallaria), the phosphorescent sea pen (Pennatula phosphorea), the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium), and the globe volvox (Volvox globator). Credits to Greg Grimes (sea fan), Bengt Littorin (dead man’s fingers), Bernard Picton (pipe hydroid, sea pen), biopix.com (bryozoan), Lovell and Libby Langstroth (coral weed), National Museums Northern Ireland (squirrel’s tail), D. J. Patterson (vorticella and volvox), Pulich Health Image Library (tapeworm).

Some species in Linnaeus’ order Zoophyta were (from left to right, top to bottom): the Venus sea fan (Gorgonia flabellum), the dead man’s fingers (Alcyonium digitatum), the oaten pipe hydroid (Tubullaria indivisa), the leafy bryozoan (Eschara foliacea, now Flustra foliacea), the coral weed (Corallina officinalis), the squirrel’s tail (Sertularia argentea), the grooved vorticella (Hydra convallaria, now Vorticella convallaria), the phosphorescent sea pen (Pennatula phosphorea), the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium), and the globe volvox (Volvox globator). Credits to Greg Grimes (sea fan), Bengt Littorin (dead man’s fingers), Bernard Picton (pipe hydroid, sea pen), biopix.com (bryozoan), Lovell and Libby Langstroth (coral weed), National Museums Northern Ireland (squirrel’s tail), D. J. Patterson (vorticella and volvox), Pulich Health Image Library (tapeworm).

Linnaeus may have made some mistakes while classifying mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes and insects, but nothing compares to the mess that his class Vermes was. It included animals from many different phyla and even red and green algae! Sometimes the same genus included both animals and plants.

And this concludes our presentation of animals in Linnaeus’ 1758 edition of Systema Naturae.

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References:

Linnaeus. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae…

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Furia infernalis, a legendary parasite

by Piter Kehoma Boll

The year was 1728. The young naturalist Carl Linnaeus was exploring some marshes in the vicinities of Lund, Sweden, in search of botanical specimens. Suddenly he was wounded by something that felt like a sudden dart hitting the skin. Linnaeus deduced that the cause was a small slender worm that buried itself deeply and quickly in the flesh, so that it was impossible to try to extract it. The wound caused such a severe inflammation that his life became endangered. He recovered, of course, but was so deeply impressed by the experience that he gave a name to the supposed animal, Furia infernalis, the fury from Hell, and introduced it in his famous Systema Naturae.

Several naturalists continued to spread the idea of such an animal and several works regarding the creature were published by very respected cientists. The animal was described as being a greyish worm of the thickness of a hair and with black extremities that inhabits marshy places and darts itself upon the exposed parts of the bodies of humans and other animals that happen to be in its reach. The torments caused by the worm after quickly burying itself in the flesh were so excruciating that they throw the victim into a state of madness and wild rage.

The Furia infernalis was supposed to look somewhat like this.

The Furia infernalis was supposed to look somewhat like this.

The idea of the existence of the creature soon became settled in people’s minds. The animal was supposed to live only in eastern Scandinavia and perhaps Russia and the Baltic contries, but did not happen further to the south nor in Norway. Even some medical treatments to cure the infection were published.

An older, wiser and more experienced Linnaeus, many years later, altered his opinion on the creature. He admitted that he possibly was drawn into error regarding the creature’s nature or even existence and considered it to be entirely fictional. However, it was too late. New cases of attacks continued to appear and the worm seemed to be a special danger to reindeer. Accounts regarding entire herds of reindeer being killed by the creature were so frequent that the purchase of animals from Sweden was entirely forbidden during the periods in which the disease was frequently reported.

Despite all the alarm, no one ever was able to present a specimen of the creature in order to validate its existence. The problem with the deer were later discovered to be caused by cestode larvae in the brain, i.e., they were afflicted by neurocysticercosis.

Today Furia infernalis is considered to be an entirely fictional animal belonging to the realm of Cryptozoology. But I wonder what had stung Linnaeus in that marsh three centuries ago.

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References:

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae…

Brooke, A. C. 1827. On the Furia infernalis. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal3: 39-43.

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The history of Systematics: Animals in Systema Naturae, 1758 (part 3)

by Piter Kehoma Boll

This is the third part of this series of posts. See here part 1part 2 and part 4.

In this post I’ll present a single class: Insecta. At that time, however, Insecta included not only what we call insects today, but all arthropods.

5. Insecta (Insects)

Heart with one ventricle and one auricle; cold pus.
Spiracles: pores at the sides of the body.
Jaws lateral.
Penises entering.
Senses: tongue, eyes, antennae in head without brain (no ears and nostrils).
Covering: armored sustaining bony skin.
Support: feet, in some wings.

Insects were classified according to the number and aspect of the wings and included 7 orders: Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Neuroptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Aptera.

5.1 Coleoptera (case wings), with four wings, the forewings fully hardened: Scarabeus (scarab beetles), Dermestes (larder beetles), Hister (clown beetles), Attelabus (leaf-rolling weevils), Curculio (true weevils), Silpha (carrion beetles), Coccinella (ladybugs), Cassida (tortoise beetles), Chrysomela (leaf beetles), Meloe (blister beetles), Tenebrio (darkling beetles), Mordella (tumbling flower beetles), Staphylinus (rove beetles), Cerambyx (longhorn beetles), Leptura (flower longhorn beetles), Cantharis (soldier beetles, glowworms), Elater (click beetles), Cicindela (tiger beetles), Buprestis (jewel beetles), Dytiscus (diving beetles), Carabus (ground beetles), Necydalis (wasp beetles), Forficula (earwigs), Blatta (cockroaches), Gryllus (crickets, locusts, grasshoppers, mantises, stick bugs).

1758Linnaeus_coleoptera

Species grouped by Linnaeus under Coleoptera (from left to right, top to bottom): sacred scarab (Scarabaeus sacer), larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius), four-spotted clown beetle (Hister quadrimaculatus), hazel-leaf roller weevil (Attelabus coryli, currently Apoderus coryli), nut weevil (Curculio nucum), dark carrion beetle (Silpha obscura), seven-spotted ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata), green tortoise beetle (Cassida viridis), red poplar leaf beetle (Chrysomela populi), black blister beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus), mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor), pointed tumbling flower beetle (Mordella aculeata), red-winged rove beetle (Staphylinus erythropterus), great capricorn beetle (Cerambyx cerdo), banded flower longhorn beetle (Leptura quadrifasciata), dull soldier beetle (Cantharis fusca), red click beetle (Elater ferrugineus), green tiger beetle (Cicindela campestris), eight-spotted jewel beetle (Buprestis octoguttata), broad diving beetle (Dytiscus latissimus), hard ground beetle (Carabus coriaceus), greater wasp beetle (Necydalis major), European earwig (Forficula auricularia), common cockroach (Blatta orientalis), and common field cricket (Gryllus campestris). Credits to Wikimedia user Sarefo (scarab), Guttorm Flatabø (larder beetle), Didier Descouens (clown beetle, tumbling flower beetle), entomart [www.entomart.be] (weevils, tortoise beetle), Dominik Stodulski (ladybug), Wikimedia user Quartl (leaf beetle, flower longhorn beetle), Václav Hanzlík (rove beetle), Franz Xaver (capricorn beetle), James K. Lindsey (soldier beetle), Stanislav Krejčik (click beetle), Olaf Leillinger (tiger beetle), Biopix [www.biopix.com] (diving beetle), Gyorgy Csoka (wasp beetle), Miroslav Deml (earwig), K Schneider (cockroach), Gilles San Martin (cricket).

5.2 Hemiptera (half wings): with four wings, the forewings half-hardened: Cicada (cicadas),  Notonecta (backswimmers), Nepa (water scorpions), Cimex (shield bugs and bedbugs), Aphis (aphids), Chermes (wooly aphids), Coccus (scale insects), Thrips (thrips).

Linnaeus’ Hemiptera included the following species (from left to right, top to bottom): ash cicada (Cicada orni), common backswimmer (Notonecta glauca), common water scorpion (Nepa cinerea), common bedbug (Cimex lectularius), elder aphid (Aphis sambuci), pineapple gall aldegid (Chermes abietis, currently Adelges abietis), brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum), dandelion thrips (Thrips physapus). Credits to Wikimedia user Hectonichus (cicada), Holger Gröschl (backswimmer), Wikimedia user XenonX3 (water scorpion), James K. Lindsey (aphid), Magne Flåten (aldegid), Whitney Cranshaw (soft scale), thrips.w.interiowo.pl (thrips).

Linnaeus’ Hemiptera included the following species (from left to right, top to bottom): ash cicada (Cicada orni), common backswimmer (Notonecta glauca), common water scorpion (Nepa cinerea), common bedbug (Cimex lectularius), elder aphid (Aphis sambuci), pineapple gall aldegid (Chermes abietis, currently Adelges abietis), brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum), and dandelion thrips (Thrips physapus). Credits to Wikimedia user Hectonichus (cicada), Holger Gröschl (backswimmer), Wikimedia user XenonX3 (water scorpion), James K. Lindsey (aphid), Magne Flåten (aldegid), Whitney Cranshaw (soft scale), thrips.w.interiowo.pl (thrips).

5.3 Lepidoptera (scale wings), with four scaly wings: Papilio (butterflies), Phalaena (moths), Sphinx (hawk moths).

Among the species put by Linnaeus under Lepidoptera, there were (from left to right, top to bottom): paris peacock (Papilio paris), gothic moth (Phalaena typical, now Naenia typical), privet hawk moth (Sphinx ligustri). Creditos to Wikimedia user Peellden (paris peacock), Danny Chapman (gothic moth), Wikimedia user Jdiemer (hawk moth).

Among the species put by Linnaeus under Lepidoptera, there were (from left to right): paris peacock (Papilio paris), gothic moth (Phalaena typica, now Naenia typica), and privet hawk moth (Sphinx ligustri). Credits to Wikimedia user Peellden (paris peacock), Danny Chapman (gothic moth), Wikimedia user Jdiemer (hawk moth).

5.4 Neuroptera (veined wings), with four membranous wings and an unarmed tail: Libellula (dragonflies and damselflies), Ephemera (mayflies), Phryganea (caddislies), Hemerobius (lacewings, antlions, alderflies), Panorpa (scorpionflies), Raphidia (snakeflies).

Linnaeus order Neuroptera included (from left to right, top to bottom) the four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), common mayfly (Ephemera vulgata), greater caddisly (Phryganea grandis), common brown lacewing (Hemerobius humulinus), common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis), common snakefly (Raphidia ophiopsis). Credits to Wikimedia user Bj.schoenmakers (mayfly), Donald Hobern (caddisfly), Wikimedia user AfroBrazilian (lacewing), André Karwath (scorpionfly).

Linnaeus order Neuroptera included (from left to right, top to bottom) the four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), common mayfly (Ephemera vulgata), greater caddisly (Phryganea grandis), common brown lacewing (Hemerobius humulinus), common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis), and common snakefly (Raphidia ophiopsis). Credits to Wikimedia user Bj.schoenmakers (mayfly), Donald Hobern (caddisfly), Wikimedia user AfroBrazilian (lacewing), André Karwath (scorpionfly).

5.5 Hymenoptera (membranous wings), with four membranous wings and an armed tail: Cynips (gall wasps), Tenthredo (sawflies), Ichneumon (parasitoid wasps), Sphex (digger wasps and potter wasps), Vespa (hornets and wasps), Apis (bees), Formica (ants), Mutilla (velvet ants).

Linnaeus order Neuroptera included (from left to right, top to bottom) the common gall wasp (Cynips quercusfolii), figwort sawfly (Tenthredo scrophulariae), common parasitoid wasp (Ichneumon sarcitorius), South American potter wasp (Sphex argillacea, now Zeta argillaceum), European hornet (Vespa crabro), Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), red wood ant (Formica rufa), European velvet ant (Mutilla europaea). Credits to Wikimedia user Wofl (gall wasp), James K. Lindsey (sawfly, parasitoid wasp), Sean McCann (potter wasp), Wikipedia user Flugwapsch62 (hornet), Böhringer Friedrich (bee), Adam Opio¬ła (ant), Valter Jacinto (velvet ant).

Linnaeus order Hymenoptera included (from left to right, top to bottom) the common gall wasp (Cynips quercusfolii), figwort sawfly (Tenthredo scrophulariae), common parasitoid wasp (Ichneumon sarcitorius), South American potter wasp (Sphex argillacea, now Zeta argillaceum), European hornet (Vespa crabro), Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), red wood ant (Formica rufa), and European velvet ant (Mutilla europaea). Credits to Wikimedia user Wofl (gall wasp), James K. Lindsey (sawfly, parasitoid wasp), Sean McCann (potter wasp), Wikimedia user Flugwapsch62 (hornet), Böhringer Friedrich (bee), Adam Opioła (ant), Valter Jacinto (velvet ant).

5.6 Diptera (two wings), with two wings: Oestrus (botflies), Tipula (craneflies and midges), Musca (houseflies, hoverflies, blowflies, snipe flies), Tabanus (horse-flies), Culex (mosquitoes), Empis (dance flies), Conops (thick-headed flies, hornflies, stable flies), Asilus (robber flies), Bombylius (beeflies), Hippobosca (louse flies).

In Diptera, Linnaeus included the sheep botly (Oestrus ovis), garden cranefly (Tipula hortorum), common housefly (Musca domestica), pale giant horse-fly (Tabanus bovinus), common house mosquito (Culex pipiens), northern dance fly (Empis borealis), yellow thick-headed fly (Conops flavipes), hornet robberfly (Asilus crabroniformis), large beefly (Bombylius major), forest fly (Hippobosca equina). Credits to picotverd user from diptera.info (botfly), James K. Lindsey (cranefly, horse-fly, dance fly), Kamran Iftikhar (housefly), David Barillet-Portal (mosquito), Martin Harvey (robberfly), Richard Bartz (beefly), Wikimedia user Janswart (forest fly).

In Diptera, Linnaeus included the sheep botly (Oestrus ovis), garden cranefly (Tipula hortorum), common housefly (Musca domestica), pale giant horse-fly (Tabanus bovinus), common house mosquito (Culex pipiens), northern dance fly (Empis borealis), yellow thick-headed fly (Conops flavipes), hornet robberfly (Asilus crabroniformis), large beefly (Bombylius major), and forest fly (Hippobosca equina). Credits to picotverd user from diptera.info (botfly), James K. Lindsey (cranefly, horse-fly, dance fly), Kamran Iftikhar (housefly), David Barillet-Portal (mosquito), Martin Harvey (robberfly), Richard Bartz (beefly), Wikimedia user Janswart (forest fly).

5.7 Aptera (no wings), without wings: Lepisma (silverfishes), Podura (springtails), Termes (termites and barklice), Pediculus (lice), Pulex (fleas), Acarus (mites and ticks), Phalangium (harvestmen, whip spider and whip scorpions), Aranea (spiders), Scorpio (scorpions), Cancer (crabs, lobsters, shrimp), Monoculus (tadpole shrimps, water fleas, horseshoe crabs), Oniscus (woodlice), Scolopendra (centipedes), Julus (milipedes).

The messy order Aptera included (from left to right, top to bottom) the silverfish (Lepisma saccharina), the water sprintail (Podura aquatic), the larger pale trogiid (Termes pulsatorium, now Trogium pulsatorium), the head louse (Pediculus humanus), the human flea (Pulex irritans), the flour mite (Acarus siro), the common harvestman (Phalangium opilio), the angular garden spider (Aranea angulata, now Araneus angulatus), the large clawed scorpion (Scorpio maurus), the brown crab (Cancer pagurus), the common tadpole shrimp (Monoculus apus, now Lepidurus apus), the common woodlouse (Oniscus asellus), the Amazonian giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantea), common millipede (Julus terrestris). Credits to Christian Fischer (silverfish, springtail), Josef Reischig (louse), Michael Wunderli (flea), Joel Mills (mite), Didier Descouens (harvestman), Thomas Kraft (spider), Guy Haimovitch (scorpion), Hans Hillewaert (crab), Christian Fischer (tadpole shrimp), Fritz Geller-Grimm (woodlouse), Katka Nemčoková (centipede), Carmen Juaréz/Pedro do Rego (millipede).

The messy order Aptera included (from left to right, top to bottom) the silverfish (Lepisma saccharina), the water springtail (Podura aquatica), the larger pale trogiid (Termes pulsatorium, now Trogium pulsatorium), the head louse (Pediculus humanus), the human flea (Pulex irritans), the flour mite (Acarus siro), the common harvestman (Phalangium opilio), the angular garden spider (Aranea angulata, now Araneus angulatus), the large clawed scorpion (Scorpio maurus), the brown crab (Cancer pagurus), the common tadpole shrimp (Monoculus apus, now Lepidurus apus), the common woodlouse (Oniscus asellus), the Amazonian giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantea), and the common millipede (Julus terrestris). Credits to Christian Fischer (silverfish, springtail), Josef Reischig (louse), Michael Wunderli (flea), Joel Mills (mite), Didier Descouens (harvestman), Thomas Kraft (spider), Guy Haimovitch (scorpion), Hans Hillewaert (crab), Christian Fischer (tadpole shrimp), Fritz Geller-Grimm (woodlouse), Katka Nemčoková (centipede), Carmen Juaréz/Pedro do Rego (millipede).

As one can notice, Linnaeus was pretty good at classifying hymenopterans, dipterans and lepidopterans. His orders Coleoptera and Hemiptera were not that bad too. Neuroptera was a little messy, but nothing compares to Aptera, where he put everything without wings, from silverfish to spiders, crabs and millipedes! It’s amazing how accurate he was with certain groups, but a complete disaster with others.

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References:

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae…

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The history of Systematics: Animals in Systema Naturae, 1758 (part 2)

by Piter Kehoma Boll

This post is a continuation of The history of Systematics: Animals in Systema Naturae, 1758 (part 1). So be sure to read that first!

Here I’ll talk about two other classes in Linnaeus’ classification: Amphibia and Pisces.

3. Amphibia (Amphibians)

Heart with one ventricle and one auricle; cold, red blood.
Lungs breathing arbitrarily.
Jaw incumbent.
Penis double. Eggs mostly membranaceous.
Senses: tongue, nostrils, eyes, many ears.
Covering: coriaceous, nude.
Support: various, in some none.

Amphibians  were classified according to the anatomy of the limbs and included 3 orders: Reptiles, Serpentes, and Nantes. They are shown below with their respective genera.

3.1 Reptiles (crawlers), having four feet Testudo (turtles and tortoises), Draco (gliding lizards), Lacerta (lizards, salamanders and crocodilians), Rana (frogs and toads).

Four species that Linnaeus put under Reptiles: spur-thighed tortoise (

Four species that Linnaeus put under Reptiles (from left to right): spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca), flying lizard (Draco volans), sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), and common frog (Rana temporaria). Credits to Gisella D. (tortoise), Charles J. Sharp (flying lizard), Krzysztof Mizera (sand lizard), and Monika Betley (frog).

3.2 Serpentes (creepers), without limbs: Crotalus (rattlesnakes), Boa (boas), Coluber (racers, vipers, cobras, pythons), Anguis (slow worms, worm snakes and sand boas), Amphisbaena (worm lizards), Caecilia (caecilians).

Six species put but Linnaeus under Serpentes: timber rattlesnake (

Six species put by Linnaeus under Serpentes (from left to right, top to bottom): timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), Boa constrictor, black racer (Coluber constrictor), slow worm (Anguis fragilis), red worm lizard (Amphisbaena alba), and bearded caecilian (Caecilia tentaculata). Credits to Pavel Ševela (boa constrictor), Wikimedia user Marek_bydg (slow worm), Diogo B. Provete (worm lizard)**, and bio-scene.org (bearded cacecilian).

3.2 Nantes (swimmers), having fins: Petromyzon (lampreys), Raja (rays), Squalus (sharks), Chimaera (ratfishes), Lophius (anglerfishes), and Acipenser (sturgeons).

The order Nantes comprised, among others, the sea lamprey (

The order Nantes comprised, among others (from left to right, top to bottom), the sea lamprey (Petrozymon marinus), the thornback ray (Raja clavata), the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), the rabbitfish (Chimaera monstrosa), the angler (Lophius piscatorius), and the sturgeon (Acipenser sturio). Credits to Wikimedia user Fungus Guy (lamprey), Wikimedia user Citron (rabbitfish), Wikimedia user Meocrisis (angler), and flickr user Aah-Yeah (sturgeon).

4. Pisces (Fish)

Heart with one ventricle and one auricle; cold red blood.
Gills external, compressed.
Jaw incumbent.
Penis absent. Eggs without albumin.
Senses: tongue, nostrils (?), eyes (no ears).
Covering: imbricate scales.
Support: fins.

Fish included 5 orders, which were defined mainly by the position of the ventral limbs in relation to the pectoral fins: Apodes, Jugulares, Thoracici, Abdominales and Branchiostegi.

4.1 Apodes (footless ones), without ventral fins: Muraena (eels), Gymnotus (knifefishes), Trichiurus (cutlassfishes), Anarhichas (wolffishes), Ammodytes (sand eels), Stromateus (butterfishes), Xiphias (swordfishes).

The Mediterranean muray (

(From left to right, top to bottom) The Mediterranean muray (Muraena helena), banded knifefish (Gymnotus carapo), largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus), seawolf (Anarhichas lupus), lesser sand eel (Ammodytes tobianus), blue butterfish (Stromateus fiatola), and swordfish (Xiphias gladius) were classified as Apodes. Credits to Tato Grasso (muray), segrestfarms.com (knifefish), Daizu Azuma (hairfail), Wikimedia user Haplochromis (seawolf), and Muhammad Moazzam Khan (swordfish).

4.2 Jugulares (jugular ones), ventral fins in front of the pectoral fins: Callionymus (dragonets and flatheads), Uranoscopus (stargazers), Trachinus (weevers), Gadus (cods, haddocks, lings, etc), Blennius (blennies), Ophidion (cusk-eels, gunnels, bandfishes).

Six species included in the order Jugulares (from left to right, top to bottom): common dragonet (

Six species included in the order Jugulares (from left to right, top to bottom): common dragonet (Callionymus lyra), Atlantic stargazer (Uranoscopus scaber), greater weever (Trachinus draco), Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), butterfly blenny (Blennius ocellaris), snake blenny (Ophidion barbatum). Credits to Hans Hillewaert (dragonet), Roberto Pillon (stargazer), Hans-Petter Fjeld (cod, CC-BY-SA), Gianni Neto (blenny), Stefano Guerrieri (snake blenny).

4.3 Thoracici (thoracic ones), ventral fins below the pectoral fins: Cyclopterus (lumpfishes), Echeneis (remoras), Coryphaena (dolphinfishes and razorfishes), Gobius (gobies), Cottus (sculpins and hooknoses), Scorpaena (scorpionfishes), Zeus (John dories, lookdowns and boar fishes), Pleuronectes (flatfishes), Chaetodon (butterflyfishes, angelfishes, surgeons, etc), Sparus (breams, porgies, picarels, etc), Labrus (wrasses, parrotfishes, etc), Sciaena (snappers and croakers), Perca (perch, groupers, tilapias, etc), Gasterosteus (sticklebacks, lionfishes, pilot fishes, etc), Scomber (mackerels and tunas), Mullus (goatfishes), and Trigla (gurnards).

Sixteen species classified by Linnaeus as Thoracici (from left to right, top to bottom): lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus), live sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates), pompano dolphinfish (Coryphaena equiselis), black goby (Gobius niger), European bullhead (Cottus gobio), bigscale scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa), John Dory (Zeus faber), European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), banded butterflyfish (Chaetodon striatus), gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata), brown wrasse (Labrus merula), 

Seveteen species classified by Linnaeus as Thoracici (from left to right, top to bottom): lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus), live sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates), pompano dolphinfish (Coryphaena equiselis), black goby (Gobius niger), European bullhead (Cottus gobio), bigscale scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa), John Dory (Zeus faber), European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), banded butterflyfish (Chaetodon striatus), gilt-head bream (Sparus aurata), brown wrasse (Labrus merula), brown meagre (Sciaena umbra), European perch (Perca fluviatilis), three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), Atlantic mackereil (Scomber scombrus), bluntsnouted mullet (Mullus barbatus), and piper gurnard (Trigla lyra). Credits to Simon Pierre Barrette (lumpsucker), Wikimedia user Wusel007 (sharksucker), NOAA/FPIR Observer Program (dolphinfish), Stefano Guerrieri (goby and wrasse), Hans Hillewaert (bullhead), Wikimedia user Elapied (scorpionfish), Wikimedia user Kleines.Opossum (john dory), Wikimedia user Gargolla (plaice), Bernard E. Picton (butterflyfish), Roberto Pillon (bream and mullet), Albert Kok (meagre), Wikimedia user Dgp.martin (perch), Wikimedia user JaySo83 (stickleback), NOAA (mackerel), and Massimiliano Marcelli (gurnard).

4.4 Abdominales (abdominal ones), ventral fins behind the pectoral fins: Cobitis (loaches and four-eyed fishes), Silurus (catfishes), Loricaria (suckermouth catfishes), Salmo (salmon, trouts, smelts, etc), Fistularia (cornetfishes), Esox (pikes, gars, barracudas, etc), Argentina (herring smelts), Atherina (silversides), Mugil (mullets), Exocoetus (flying fishes), Polynemus (threadfins), Clupea (herring, anchovies, hatchetfishes, etc), and Cyprinus (carps, goldfishes, breams, etc).

Thirteen species that were part of the order Abdominales:

Thirteen species that were part of the order Abdominales (from left to right, top to bottom): spined loach (Cobitis taenia), Wels catfish (Silurus glanis), suckermouth catfish (Loricaria cataphracta), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), bluespotted cornetfish (Fistularia tabacaria), northern pike (Esox lucius), European argentine (Argentina sphyraena), Mediterranean sand smelt (Atherina hepsetus), flathead mullet (Mugil cephalus), Tropical two-winged flying fish (Exocoetus volitans), paradise threadfin (Polynemus paradiseus), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), and  common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Credits to J. C. Harf (loach), Dieter Florian (catfish), Hans-Petter Fjeld (salmon), Wikimedia user Jik jik (pike), Roberto Pillon (sand smelt and mullet), Wikimedia user Kolisberg (flying fish), segrestfarms.com (threadfin), and Wikimedia user Kils (herring).

4.5 Branchiostegi, lacking opercula or branchial fins: Mormyrus (elephantfishes), Balistes (triggerfishes and snipefishes), Ostracion (boxfishes, cowfishes, etc), Tetraodon (pufferfishes and sunfishes), Diodon (porcupine fishes), Centriscus (shrimpfishes), Syngnathus (pipefishes and seahorses), and Pegasus (seamoths).

The eight species shown above were all part of the order Branchiostegi (from left to right, top to bottom):

The eight species shown above were all part of the order Branchiostegi (from left to right, top to bottom): Mormyrus caschive, queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula), yellow boxfish (Ostracion cubicus), Fahaka pufferfish (Tetraodon lineatus), spot-fin porcupinefish (Diodon hystrix), grooved shrimpfish (Centriscus scutatus), common pipefish (Syngnathus acus), and longtail seamoth (Pegasus volitans). Credits to Johny Jensen (Mormyrus), James St. John (triggerfish), flickr user zsispeo (boxfish), Reserva de la Biosfera Cabildo de Gran Canaria (porcupinefish), John E. Randall (shrimpfish and seamoth), and Hans Hillewaert (pipefish).

As you can notice, Linnaeus’ classification of amphibians and fish was even worse than that of mammals and birds, especially the classification of amphibians. It is clear that Linnaeus hated what he called amphibians more than anything. He describes them as the worst creatures, having a horrible appearence, and thanking God for not creating many of them.

Probably one of the most bizarre things is that Linnaeus put lizards and crocodiles in the same genus! Well, if he hated “amphibians” so much, I think he was not very familiar with their anatomy.

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Reference:

Linnaeus, Carl. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Nature…

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