[Taxacom] new species based on expedition material

Ohl, Michael Michael.Ohl at mfn-berlin.de
Thu Jul 18 12:03:36 CDT 2013

Hi list,

I recently read  a newly published biographic book on Alfred Russel Wallace, and the author, Matthias Glaubrecht, has compiled some numbers about the collecting success by Wallace and some others in relation to the number of newly described species based on their material. Here are some examples:

Wallace collected 82,000 beetle specimens in Sotheast Asia, representing approx. 7000 species, 900 of which proved to be new. He also brought back 8050 bird skins, among which were skins of 212 new bird species.

Henry Walter Bates returned 14,712 animal specimens from the Amazon, 8000 of which appeared to be undescribed.

These numbers came from different sources, partly by Wallace and Bates themselves.

Another number I am aware of: The Challenger-Expedition revealed an unknown number of specimens, but 4,717 new species have been described, 3,500 of which radiolariens described by Ernst Haeckel alone.

My questions: Are their any other numbers around, published or unpublished, of highly productive single collecting expeditions and the numbers of new species described based on that material? Which collectors/expeditions have accumulated the largest number of undescribed species? And which collectors/expeditions have accumulated the largest number of undescribd species, which have not only been recognized as undescribed but which have actually been properly described? These two numbers are likely to be different in most, but not in all cases.

Cheers, Michael

PD Dr. Michael Ohl
Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin

More information about the Taxacom mailing list