Tag Archives: eponyms

Eponyms as link: Orbigny and Dupin

Alcide d’Orbigny (1802–1857) was not only a malacologist but devoted much of his time to the study of fossils. He is well-known by his travels to South America and his voluminous paleontological works.


During an inventory of eponyms given by d’Orbigny to other persons, one of the outstanding names was ‘Dupin’, to whom not less than 32 eponyms were dedicated. In d’Orbigny (1842: 377–378) we read under the description of Conoteuthis Dupinianus “La seule espèce connue (…) a été découverte par le docteur Dupin (…) des environs d’Ervy (Aube). La science doit à cet habile observateur un très grand nombre de faits nouveaux. (…) il a réuni (…) l’énorme chiffre de 474 échantillons de Gastéropodes, dont il a bien voulu enricher ma Paléontologie française”. Indeed, d’Orbigny described many new species named after Dupin in this work (1840-1849) and in his Prodrome de paléontologie (1849-1852).

Curious to know more about Dupin, it was possible to find some data in the official journal of Dept. Aube (Anonymous, 1863). Georges Auguste Dupin finished his study medicine in Paris in 1825, and settled in Ervy-le-Châtel. Unfortunately, nothing more is known. Dupin was one of the ‘field collectors’ who trusted his material to d’Orbigny for identification.


Anonymous. 1863. Liste des médecins et officiers de Santé, dans l’ordre de leur inscription à la Préfecture de l’Aube. Annuaire administratief, statistique et commercial du département de l’Aube (1863): 222–227.
d’Orbigny, A. 1842. Mémoire sur deux genres nouveaux de Céphalopodes fossiles (les Conoteuthis et Spirulirostra) offrant des passages, d’un côté entre la Spirule et la Sèche, de l’autre entre les Bélemnites et les Ommastrèphes.  Annales des sciences naturelles (2) 17: 362–367.

Use of eponyms in the Société malacologique de France

The principles of the Bourguignat’s « Nouvelle Ecole » are explained in the introduction of the first volume of the Bulletins (with s) de la Société malacologique de France (SMF), created in reaction of the Journal de Conchyliologie co-edited by Hippolyte Crosse & Paul-Henri Fischer. Nearly 700 species were described in the 7 volumes of Bulletins, during 1884 to 1890 (Bourguignat died in 1892). Of these 700 species, 65 % were described by the founders of the Bulletins (Ancey, Bourguignat, Caziot, Fagot, Letourneux, Hagenmüller, Locard, Mabille, Poirier, Rochebrune, Saint-Simon, and Servain) and 22 % by associated members (e.g., Bofill, Euthyme, Florence and Jousseaume). But effectively, many descriptions were published under the responsability of Bourguignat, Locard or Fagot. For example: with some associates (e.g., Pechaud) or foreign correspondants took La Rédaction the liberty to adapt the text with the criteria of the Nouvelle Ecole. The writing style of Bourguignat or Servain can be seen in many papers and we know that Bourguignat used pseudonyms* or added informations without notice the author (read for example : « Mélanges et Nouvelles » published in Magasin de Zoologie pure et appliquée (v. 18 – 1866) in which we learn that Bourguignat modified the original text of Paladilhe to insert personal attacks against Gassies). Many diagnoses or descriptive texts are manuscripts of Bourguignat or can be attributed to Bourguignat. The Excursions malacologiques are an opus of Bourguignat for 90 % (some parts in quotation marks, other parts without quotation marks but the text still can be attributed to Bourguignat). Returning to the Bulletins, it is obvious in particular with the foreign contributors that the role of the Rédaction is very important.

Compare for example, the text of Schröder (SMF, vol. 2 : 215): « Cette espèce, du groupe de l’intermedia, à laquelle M. Bourguignat a bien voulu attribuer mon prénom, se trouve… » with Silva e Castro (SMF, vol. 2 : 278): « Cette espèce, de la série des Ventricosiana, à laquelle M. Bourguignat a bien voulu attribuer mon prénom, a été recueillie … ». These two articles are presented exactly in the same way (e.g. compare p. 216 and 278)! Very often the papers included descriptions of Bourguignat & cie (in sched., in litteris, Bourg. mss, etc.) and very often one of the new species is an eponym.

Example: Jousseaume (SMF, vol. 7: 81): Ovatella jousseaumei Bourg. In litt (p. 93) and Coelestele Bourguignati (p. 95); or Bourguignat (SMF, vol. 2 : 141): Tiphobia jouberti Bourg. (p. 146) and Tiphobia bourguignati Joubert. In litt (p. 148). We may regards these as little gifts between friends…

We have even the case of a paper (Servain, SMF, vol. 7: 281) in which a new genus and a new species are described by Bourguignat: Chambardia letourneuxi (dedicaced to Chambard and Letourneux) included a Chambardia bourguignati described by Letourneux; hence Chambardia bourguignati Letourneux in Bourguignat in Servain would be the full citation! These multiple eponyms are frequent inside the same publication. One of most famous is the « Monographies des genres Pechaudia and Hagenmulleria découverts en Algérie » by Bourguignat in 1881 in which are described all combinations : Pechaudia letourneuxiana, Hagenmulleria pechaudi, Hagenmulleria letourneuxi, Lhotelleria pechaudi, Lhotelleria letourneuxi. In SMF, vol. 4, Hagenmüller has dedicated four « letourneuxi », one in each new genus (Chancelia, Delevieleusia, Faudelia, Tetraspis) of his publication with this comment:


In the SMF volumes, we can find more than 60 eponyms for founders of the SMF, of which one third for Bourguignat! Nearly 160 different people received at least one eponym; in total nearly 250 names are eponyms, this is 35 % of the new names introduced in these volumes.


In addition, we see that a part of these eponyms had been choosen from the first name and/or to thank a malacologist’s wife:
Anodonta reneana Pechaud (SMF, vol. 1) to Jules-René Bourguignat
Anodonta richardi Bourguignat (SMF, col. 2) to Richard Schröder
Anodonta josei Bourguignat (SMF, vol. 2) to José da Silva e Castro
Digyreideum renei Letourneux (SMF, vol. 4) to Jules-René Bourguignat
Limnaea mongazonae Servain (SMF, vol. 4) to Mme Alix Servain (borned Loir-Mongazon)
Physa alixiana Servain (SMF, vol. 4) id.
Unio mongazonae Servain (SMF, vol. 4) id.
Valvata mongazoniana Servain (SMF, vol. 4) id.
Pedipes leoniae Ancey (SMF, vol. 4) to Mme Léonie Deschamps (wife of Mr Deschamps)
Pedipes deschampsi Ancey (SMF, vol. 4) id
Bulimus arnouldi Sayn (SMF, vol. 5) to Arnould Locard
Helix biagioi Bourguignat (SMF, vol. 5) to Biagio Kléciak

Visualised as a network, the (co-)authors and the persons they awarded eponyms is shown below:



* e.g. Servain (1891): “Les travaux de notre Collègue sont nombreux : ils atteignent le chiffre de cent quinze. Eh bien ! ces ouvrages forment à peine la moitié ce qu’il a fait paraître ou en volumes séparés, ou des Revues, voire même dans des journaux, soit sous le nom de ses amis, soit sous des pseudonymes, soit sous des astérisques”.

Hippolyte Mittre: an early malacologist

It is not known where and when Hippolyte Mittre was born. Mittre studied medicine, possibly in Montpellier where he defended in 1837 his thesis entitled ‘Essai sur la nostalgie’ (O’Sullivan 2012: 641). Later he became surgeon at the naval port in Toulon. From his papers it is clear that he travelled to the Caribbean and received material via others from localities overseas. He published only a few papers, but it is remarkable that he paid ample attention to the morphology of the animals. In that sense, he was one of the few malacologists among his contemporary conchologists and was ahead of his time. He died 1 January 1851 in French Guiana (Petit de la Saussaye, 1851).



His publication list is only modest and lists six papers:
1841 [March] Descriptions de quelques coquilles nouvelles. Revue zoologique par la Société Cuvierrienne (1841): 65–70.
1842 [September] Description de quatre coquilles nouvelles. Annales des sciences naturelles, Zoologie (2) 18: 188–191.
1844 Mémoire sur le genre Anatine. Magasin de Zoologie, d’Anatomie comparée et de Palentologie (2) 6: 1–18 [Mollusques Pl. 102-104].
1847 [February] Notice sur l’organisation des Galeolemma. Annales des sciences naturelles, Zoologie (3) 7: 169–181.
1850a [15 April] Notice sur le genre Cypricarde. Journal de Conchyliologie 1 (2): 125–130.
1850b [15 August] Notice sur les genres Diplodonta et Scacchia. Journal de Conchyliologie 1 (3): 238–246.

New taxa

The following new species were introduced by Mittre:

aquilinum, Cardium Mittre, 1842: 191. Type locality: la rade de Toulon (Bivalvia, Cardiidae).
brasiliensis, Diplodonta Mittre 1850b: 240. Type locality: le rade de Rio de Janeiro, dans la baie de Bon Voyage (Bivalvia, Ungulinidae).
fontenayi, Erycina Mittre, 1841: 65. Type locality: la rade de Toulon (Bivalvia, Lasaeidae).
guerinii, Physa Mittre, 1841: 68. Type locality: le Levant (Gastropoda, Physidae).
haliotidea, Succinea Mittre 1841: 65. Type locality: les environs de Fort-Royal (Martinique)(Gastropoda, Amphibulimidae).
jaumei, Auricula Mittre, 1841: 67. Type locality: aux environs de Hampton en Virginie (Gastropoda, Ellobiidae).
liautaudi, Anatina Mittre, 1844: 16, pl. 104. Type locality: Manille (Bivalvia, Laternulidae).
ludoviciana, Physa Mittre 1841: 68. Type locality: le bassin de sangsues de l’hôpital de Saint-Louis, au Sénégal (Gastropoda, Physidae).
micheli, Auricula Mittre, 1841: 66. Type locality: Toulon (Gastropoda, Ellobiidae).
minoricensis, Helix Mittre, 1842: 188. Type locality: Mahon (île Minorque) (Gastropoda, Helicidae).
nyeli, Helix Mittre, 1842: 190. Type locality: les environs de la ville de Mahon (île Minorque) (Gastropoda, Helicidae).
uniplicata, Auricula Mittre, 1841: 67. Type locality: environs de Saint-Louis, au Sénégal (Gastropoda, Ellobiidae).
telonensis, Helix Mittre 1842: 189. Type locality: les environs de Toulon, au Saint Trou, sur la montagne de Faron, etc. (Gastropoda, Helicidae).


The following taxa were named after Mittre:
Bombyx mittrei
Guérin-Méneville, 1847: 230 (Insecta, Lepidoptera).
Cephus mittrei Guérin-Méneville, 1844 [1829–1844]: 402 (Insecta, Hymenoptera).
Erodius mittrei Solier, 1834: 591 (Insecta, Coleoptera).
Nerita mittreana Récluz, 1842: 181 (Mollusca, Neritidae)
Pimelia mittrei Solier 1836: 134 (Insecta, Coleoptera).
Sepidium mittrei Solier, 1844: 228 (Insecta, Coleoptera).

The eponyms that were given to Mittre were either from malacologists (Récluz) or by entomologists for whom he collected material in northern Africa (Solier from Marseille, Guérin-Méneville from Paris).

[1] Mittre, 1844: pl. 103.


Guérin-Méneville MFE. 1829–1844. Iconographie du règne animal de G. Cuvier, ou représentation d’après nature de l’une des espèces les plus remarquables, et souvant non encore figurées, de chaque genre d’animaux. Insectes. Paris: Baillière, 1–576.
Guérin-Méneville MFE. 1847. Description d’un Bombyx nouveau découvert par M. Mittre à Nose-Bé, île de Madagascar. Revue zoologique par la Société Cuvierrienne (1847): 229–230.
Petit de la Saussaye SAA. 1851. Notice sur M. le docteur Mittre [Obituary]. Journal de Conchyliologie 2 (2): 235–236.
Récluz CA. 1842. Description de plusieurs espèces de Nérites nouvelles vivantes. Revue zoologique par la Société Cuvierrienne (1842): 177–187.
Solier AJJ. 1834. Essai d’une division des coléoptères hétéromères, et d’une monographie de la famille des Collaptèrides. Annales de la Société entomologique de France 3: 479–636.
Solier AJJ. 1836. Essai sur les Collaptèrides (Suite). Annales de la Société entomologique de France 5: 5–200.
Solier AJJ. 1844. Essai sur les Collaptèrides de la tribu des Molurites. Memorie della Reale Accademia delle scienze di Torino (2) 6: 213–339.

Malacology and its social context (3)

Of most malacologists no archival data is preserved, and especially complete correspondence archives are rare. So if one tries to reconstruct the contact network one may use a few sources; e.g., in publications often several names turn up as suppliers of material (either as field or as cabinet collectors), in the collection (if preserved) labels may point to collectors or colleagues with whom material was exchanged, and (in some rare cases) correspondence may reveal some of the contacts.

In the case of Henri Drouët (1829–1900) all three sources could be used and revealed a quite extensive contact network of more than 100 persons. The following figure gives a picture of his network, distinguished according to the following roles: malacological authors (MA), authors from other disciplines (AO), field collectors (FC), and other contacts (OT). The persons in the first three categories all received one or more eponyms.



This picture also makes clear that  eponyms may be used as a proxy for contacts of an author.